Sen. Ballout Faces Attack in Maryland County
The induction ceremony of Maryland County Superintendent Nazarene Brewer Tubman and Development Superintendent Nathaniel Toe was interrupted at the Harper City Hall recently when Senator John Ballout and former Associate Justice Cllr. Fulton Yancy nearly engaged in a fist-fight.
It all sparked up when Senator Ballout was leaving the podium for his seat after making remarks, but just at that moment, Yancy, who was also seated on the platform, left his seat and demanded Ballout to publicly apologize and retract a statement the Senator had allegedly made on UNMIL RADIO program in early 2010.
Initially, the Senator did not want to heed and insisted returning to his seat, but made a quick u-turn for the microphone as Cllr. Yancy continuously insisted with vexation saying: “Please tell these people what you were saying on the radio that I had human blood in my house; that’s the best it can be.”
An enraged Yancy noted the encounter at the city hall was his first sight of Ballout since he allegedly made the claim on the radio. In response, the Senator however suggested for such issue to be discussed one-on-one or between them.
“Cllr. Fulton, I humbly recognize you and I wish you well. And at whatever given time we need to talk, I will walk to you in a very respectful manner; thank you” he pleaded.
Quite unsatisfied with the response as other personalities who had gone to grace the induction, including Senator Dan Morais tried intervening, Cllr. Yancy walked out of the city hall in quarrel. He refused to speak to reporters on the issue, but after the program, Senator Ballout denied making such statement on UNMIL Radio against Cllr. Yancy.
“Well, first of all, I don’t remember making any statement about him; do you understand me? Any statement that is in anyway anti or antagonizing.”
Ballout continued, “But let again I say, everyone of us have our own internal problems and like I said publicly, I respectfully submit myself to him, anytime he needs to talk about it he just needs to call me and I will go to him because of his age.”
The Maryland lawmaker said he did not hold anything against the old man but believe there might have been misunderstanding and misinterpretation, something he was ready to deal with.
“There may be some misunderstanding and misinterpretation; that is expected. How we deal with it is more important than to live with it. And I am prepared to deal with it anywhere anytime respectfully and in a very humble way to try to assure him that I don’t have anything against him ..... and so hopefully, he may be able to understand that and let’s see how we move forward”, the Senator painstakingly explained though he insisted he did not make such claim against Cllr. Yancy.
However, few days prior to the induction ceremony, the former Maryland County Attorney told our correspondent that if Senator Ballout did not go back on the radio to retract his statement, he (Cllr. Yancy) will take the Senator to court for defamation of character.
Meanwhile, Yancy has already sued four others for damaging his reputation as it relates to the same issue. The defendants in the damage for wrong case include Harper City Mayor Regina Sampson and Baway Cheneka, Secretary General of the Maryland Development Association. Others are Ophelia Draper and Abraham Jackson, board chairperson and president, respectively of the Maryland Development Association.
In his complaint, Cllr. Yancy accused the four for orchestrating and participating in events which led to his arrest and imprisonment, thus bringing shame to his good name. He noted that the defendants hired a native doctor, who illegally searched his house and brought out substances believed to be human blood and body parts.
In November 2009, a 30-year-old woman, Tumu Yuade Allison, was discovered dead on the shores of Lake Shepherd in Harper City with body parts reportedly extracted.
Following the brutal murder, which was said to have been carried out by unknown persons (heart men) for ritualistic purposes, citizens of the county along with local authorities agreed to hire the services of a native doctor to expose the doers. A native doctor Paul Kortor was brought to the county, who performed his rituals arrived at a number of names as suspects.
On a sunny Wednesday afternoon of March 23, 2012, Paul accompanied by heavily armed ERU officers searched the homes of those suspects, including Cllr. FultonYancy’s residence.
Some substances in two small bottles alleged to be body parts and blood were reportedly discovered in his (Yancy’s) home. The Counselor was arrested and subsequently charged with murder following police investigation. But Yancy is claiming US$290,000 in damages for his reputation, including false imprisonment, medical expenses and legal defense.
He is also requesting for US$75,000 each from Ophelia Williams and D. Baway Chenekan for allegedly signing and publishing press releases which tarnished his reputation.
Also, a Abraham Jackson was accused by the complainant of joining forces with the so-called MDA to have orchestrated a witch-hunt, through his private traditional doctor. He is therefore demanding US$100,000. Acting upon these complaints, the Fourth Judicial Circuit Court in Harper has summoned the defendants to appear on August 13.