MONROVIA: Details are lacking regarding what might have triggered the venomous outburst by Officer Sam Gaye, nominated by President Joseph N. Boakai as Chief of the Executive Protection Services (EPS) to have declared former Director of the Liberia Agency for Community Development, Pepci Yeke “dangerous”. What is known scantily is that, in a few-line circular, the EPS Chief sounded rather bellicose to the extent of ordering the former official of the Coalition for Democratic Change arrested by his men. Pepci Yeke, who himself is clearly a special aide to former President George M. Weah, is not taking the Gaye outburst lying down. As The Analyst reports, he has fired back in no uncertain terms, describing the EPS Chief action a sign of “sheer incompetence” and “vendetta”.
Mr. Pepci Yeke, former Executive Director of the Liberia Agency Community Empowerment (LACE), has tendered what seems to be a collateral response at the Executive Protection Services Director Sam Gaye who, in a publication ordered his men to arrest and detain Mr. Yeke on the alleged grounds that he, the former LACE boss, was in possession of a fire arm belonging to the EPS.
Barely hours following his confirmation by the Liberian Senate, Officer Gaye released a circular, or a release, dated February 6, 2024, not only declaring Mr. Yeke wanted but also ordering the forces of the EPS to arrest him allegedly for the “illegal possession of EPS weapon”.
Though a reliable source confided in The Analyst that Mr. Yeke has been out of the country since the CDC government in which he worked turned over to the Boakai administration, his response to Mr. Gaye was as swift and powerful as a tornado, suggesting he is not taking the situation lightly.
In his response dated February 6, 2024, Pepci wrote: “Your sheer incompetence in adhering to procedures has not only led you to behave like a maniac but also to publicly demonstrate your inability to handle even the simplest of tasks. If you lack the capacity, rest assured I do not; submit an official request and follow the proper procedure for EPS weapon turnover to ensure meticulous documentation.”
He continued: “Your failure to fulfill your duties not only reflects poorly on yourself but also on the integrity of the Boakai government. What justification do you have for baselessly branding me as armed and dangerous? It seems you have arrived at your new assignment with a personal vendetta against Pepci Yeke.”
Yeke further said if Gaye was incapable of understanding the task at hand, he should seek guidance from “your former colleagues rather than flaunting your ignorance”.
“To date,” he noted further, “I have not received a formal request for the EPS weapon legally assigned to me, yet you rashly label me as armed and dangerous. I consider this as a threat on my life and I am asking you to retrieve your statement within 24hrs and follow the proper procedure.”
It can be recalled that on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, Director Gaye, just few hours after his confirmation as Director of the elite Executive Protection Service (EPS), issued a declaration on Pepsi and ordered him arrested and detained so as to account for the gun in his possession, which according to Gaye, is owned by the EPS.
He gave the specifications of the gun: serial #97344, Making #73 and Weapon type as Norinco 22 Pistol.
“Any Law Enforcement officer that comes in contact with Pepsi Yeke should have him immediately detained and then contact the Executive Protection Service (EPS),” Director Gaye wrote in a memo apparently intended for his subordinates to execute.
“Mr. Yeke is considered armed and dangerous”, the release said.
However, some security experts who have information on how such arms are acquired said it is a normal thing that those close to the President of Liberia, like Pepsi Yeke, who is close to former President Weah, “are assigned a gun by the EPS and taking the gun from him requires a process of request from the EPS.”
He further stated: “But the EPS has not made formal request to Yeke who is currently out of the country in Italy. It is a normal thing for such people to acquire the arms from the EPS after being documented and you follow the same channel to return the gun when you do not have such privilege again following an official request from the EPS. EPS, to the best of my knowledge is yet to make that request Yeke,” the veteran arms expert said.