“Document represents original signatures”, Boakia says of disputed CPP framework paper
By Lincoln G. Peters
Former vice president Joseph N. Boakai has testified to the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) framework document saying the signature page represents the original signatures.
“However, the signature page I am also looking at here in this document represents the original signature,’’ the former vice president said as he took the stand Monday, May 16, 2022, as government star witness.
He admitted in his testimony, that the original CPP framework document was signed by the four parties and their chairpersons, adding that he signed for the UP while his then acting chairman signed for the party.
Boakai further explained that Mr. Cummings and Senator Daniel Naatehn signed for the ANC; Mr. Urey and Theodore Momo signed for ALP, while Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence and Senator Steve Zargo signed for LP.
“I see Senator Daniel Naatehn as chairman of the CPP and he was never chairman of the CPP, but [the] ANC,” said Mr. Boakai as he perused the document that was presented to him for confirmation by prosecutors.
He explained that the four political leaders signed via Zoom due to the outbreak of Covid-19, but it was never symbolic because they all signed on that same day.
He further went on to discredit the paper presented to him, saying he didn’t sign a photocopy of the disputed framework document, rejecting the version that was presented for him to testify to.
“The document before me is not the document that I signed on May 19, 2020. The document I signed was in its original form and not a photocopy with all the parties’ names in alphabetical order,” Mr. Boakai testified.
He contended further that though the signature page of the document presented to him was in its original state, the cover pages were photocopy versions, something he insisted, he did not sign to.
According to him, the original signature page was intended to be attached to the original document that they signed, not a photocopy.
He recounted that they signed five copies of the CPP framework document, saying one was intended to be filed with the National Elections Commission (NEC) and one for each of four CPP constituent parties.
Meanwhile, Boakai was quick to also point out that after they, (CPP) leaders signed the document, they invited lawyers to review the framework document and to advise the opposition bloc about the controversy surrounding job allocation enshrined in it for partisans and also to address the CPP’s exit clause.
He stated that when the lawyers reviewed the document, they came out with ten counts of amendment recommendations.
However, Boakai said by the CPP’s policy, those amended recommendations had to go through a validation committee. But he said since that time, they never saw the document again.
Boakai is a high-profile state witness in a criminal case brought against his one-time political ally and leader of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), Mr. Alexander B. Cummings.
Boakai and Cummings were the uncompromising rivals seeking to head the CPP presidential ticket ahead of the 2023 presidential and legislative elections when an allegation of CPP framework document tampering led to the UP and All Liberian Party (ALP) separately pulling out from the once formidable opposition bloc.
Cummings is currently facing criminal trial after being accused by ALP political leader Benoni Urey of allegedly tampering with the CPP framework document and illegally attaching his (Urey’s) signature to a photocopy version. Cummings has always denied any wrongdoing.
Originally made up of four opposition parties – UP, ANC, ALP and Liberty Party (LP) – the CPP later broke apart, leaving only ANC and a faction of LP as allies following bitter internal conflicts.
But Boakai said since the signing ceremony, he did not receive a copy of the document. The case continues Tuesday, 17 May 2022. https://thenewdawnliberia.com/nec-chair-presents-cpp-document-boakai-ali-to-testify/