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Cummings explores all options

As court upholds previous ruling

By Lincoln G. Peters 

The political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Alexander B. Cummings has taken an exception to the latest ruling by Criminal Court “A” Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie in the ongoing forgery trial.

He says his team is exploring all available options and will take a definite decision on the way forward shortly.

“We are reviewing all of our options and will make a decision shortly on the way forward. As always, we will continue to be transparent and provide the truth in this matter based on the facts. We are undeterred and remain determined to change the system and bring REAL CHANGE to our country for the benefit of all Liberians,” Cummings said in a statement released Friday, Feb.11.

In a statement issued following Judge Willie’s ruling which upheld the decision of the Monrovia City Court compelling him and his two-party officials to produce the original framework document of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), Cummings asserted that the Judge appeared to rely on the unverified and unsubstantiated claim of the prosecution.

The prosecution has argued that the subpoenaed document exists and that it is in Cummings’ possession.

But Cummings insists that the Judge claimed that the existence of the subpoenaed document “has not been contested” is incorrect.

The ANC leader and his two co-defendants had appealed to the Criminal Court Judge against a ruling by the Monrovia City Court which compelled them to produce a subpoenaed document listed by the prosecution as the primary evidence in the ongoing criminal trial.

Defendants have repeatedly argued that said document does not exist, and has never ever existed. As such, what never existed cannot ever come into their possession.

But Judge Willie maintain that the defendants should produce the documents contrary to their claims.

In his ruling on February 10, 2022, Judge Willie noted: “In view, therefore, the ruling of the Stipendiary Magistrate ordering the petitioner or defendant Alexander B. Cumming, to produce the original copy of the CPP framework documents, which was signed on May 19, 2020, within seventy-two (72) hours is hereby confirmed and affirmed.”

Judge Willie continues that the 72 hours announced begins immediately after his ruling and ends on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, thus ordering the clerk of court to write the City Court Magistrate Jomah Jallah to resume jurisdiction of the case and act accordingly “and it is hereby so ordered.” 

Speaking in an interview with journalists after the summary proceeding when the judge ruled, Lead Lawyer representing Mr. Alexander B. Cumming, Cllr. Abraham Sillah said the judgment and ruling by the judge is facts subject to proof, arguing that the case is with an individual, not an organization.

According to him, the CPP framework document requested by the court does not exist but for the sake of argument, if it does exist, production of evidence is in violation of the constitutional right of his client, basing his reliance on Article 21(h) of the 1986 Constitution of Liberia.

“Finally, there is no wrong that heaven cannot cure. The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of justice and we will make a determination as to whether or not, we will walk through the matter further to the Supreme Court of Liberia. However, I am determined and see it as a cardinal issue to be addressed by the Supreme Court of Liberia”, Cllr. Sillah maintains.

Also speaking, lead prosecutor Solicitor-General of Liberia Cllr. Sayma-Syrenius Cephus bragged that the prosecution now leads the defendants two goals to zero, adding that they are ready and willing for the defendants to go to the Supreme Court and that they (persecution) will take an appeal before the full bench of the High Court.

“This defendant, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings has two choices: he either confesses in open court, then I review him together with the court on the level of the injury caused and decide his punishment or he produce the evidence which is the CPP original framework document”, Cllr. Cephus insists.

On January 28, 2022, Criminal court “A” received a petition for summary proceeding against his honor Jomah Jallah, Stipendiary Magistrate of the Monrovia City court in which lawyers representing Mr. Alexander B. Cumming in his trial for the crimes of forgery and criminal conspiracy prayed the court to review and reverse January 26, 2022, interlocutory ruling of Magistrate Jallah.

They prayed for the judge to review and reverse the ruling of the Magistrate that was granted due to a 10-county motion filed on January 18, 2022, by prosecution lawyers for subpoena Duces Tecum, which prayed Defendant Cummings to produce original copies of the framework document duly signed by the four collaborating political parties.

This means that the first respondent/ magistrate should compel the defendants as criminals to produce against themselves the same real and original copy of the CPP framework document that is the first documentary evidence on the list of prosecution documentary evidence.

However, lawyers representing Mr. Cummings resisted the motion and argued that the entire motion as filed by the prosecution violates fundamental rights of the defendants’ as guaranteed by the 1986 Constitution of Liberia, specifically Article 21 (h) which prohibits self-incrimination; noting that, the motion as filed by the prosecution, means that the defendants should provide evidence against themselves.

Subsequently, the motion for subpoena Duces Tecum was assigned on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, and following law citation and argument, Magistrate Jomah Jallah ruled in favor of the prosecution, ordering Mr. Cummings and his co-defendants to produce the original framework documents of the CPP signed on May 19, 2020, and explained that the said framework document is a public document and therefore, an exception to the self-incrimination privilege prayed for by the defendants.

The magistrate further stated that by the arrangement, the CPP is a public entity and body corporate and can sue and be sued and that the official signing ceremony was not confidential and so too, was the publication of excerpts of the framework document for public review and scrutiny, adding that the defendants should produce the original copies of the framework, consistent with the criminal procedure law of Liberia Title2, Liberia Code of Law Revised, Chapter 17.2 and 17.3. by Jonathan Browne


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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