By Lincoln G. Peters
National Elections Commission (NEC) Chairperson Madam Davidetta Brown-Lansanah has submitted to the Monrovia City Court the subpoenaed framework document of the disintegrated opposition bloc Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) based on the court’s order.
The NEC chair appeared in court Wednesday, 4 May 2022 in keeping with the court’s subpoena and testified that what she had produced was the exact copy of the CPP’s framework document it presented to the commission.
The court subpoenaed Madam Brown – Lansanah on Monday to produce the original copy of the CPP Framework Document in continuation of months of a criminal trial against Alternative National Congress (ANC) political leader Mr. Alexander B. Cummings who is accused of tampering with the instrument.
Cummings is currently facing criminal trial after being accused by All Liberian Party (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.
Liberia’s former Vice President, now standard bearer of the opposition Unity Party (UP), Amb. Joseph Nyumah Boakai, and the Secretary-General of Unity Party Mr. Mo Ali, are now expected to provide testimonies in Mr. Cummings’ trial after the court earlier placed a temporary hold on their testimonies pending production of the subpoenaed documents.
At separate times both Cummings and Boakai served the rotational post of chairperson of the CPP when it was still a united opposition bloc.
Originally made up of four opposition parties – UP, ANC, ALP and Liberty Party (LP) – the CPP later broke apart, leaving only ANC and a faction of LP as allies following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.
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 UP and ALP separately pulling out from the once formidable opposition bloc.
After presenting the document to the court Wednesday, Madam Brown – Lansanah explained that political parties and alliances are required to file documents with the NEC.
Viewing the submitted documents, prosecutors noticed disparity in the date of the cover letter and the notarization of the document. The document had on it a filing date of July 10, 2020, and a notarization date of July 14, 2020.
Responding to the prosecution’s concern, the NEC chair affirmed that she had observed such a disparity in the date mentioned.
Madam Brown-Lansanah said she cannot speak to an instrument that is before the Supreme Court for determination, in further response to prosecution’s question whether NEC, based on its interaction with political parties, can accept photocopies from political parties and alliances.
Additionally, the CPP framework document presented by the NEC boss was noticed by prosecution to carry the signatures of Aloysius Toe, Secretary General of the Alternative National Congress as CPP Secretary, and Senator Daniel Naathen, as Chairman of the CPP, though Naathen had never been CPP chairman.
However, the document produced by the NEC boss was finally marked by the court based on an application made by the prosecution.
The document was finally turned over to prosecution. The court said the document is an instrument of crimes and it’s only meant for trial after which it will be handed over to the NEC.
For their part, defense lawyers only asked a question as to whether the document produced was the original and upon hearing Madam Brown – Lansanah’s response in the affirmative, the defense rested with the witness.
However, Senator Nathaan and Toe, both of whom are jointly on criminal trial with Cummings, frowned at defense lawyers for not objecting to prosecution’s application.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/court-subpoenas-nec-chairperson-places-temporary-hold-on-boakais-testimony/