By Lincoln G. Peters
The stander bearer of the Alternative National Congress Mr. Alexander B. Cummings and his Co-defendants on trial at the Monrovia City Court say they do not have the document named and styled “original framework document of the four Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) that was signed on May 19, 2020. The defendants are instead, asking the prosecution to produce said original document they claimed exists.
On Wednesday, February 16, 2022, the defendants, through their lawyers responded to a subpoena from the court, thereby reserving their right to a review of both City Court Magistrate Jomah Jallah’s ruling that was upheld by the Circuit Court Judge.
“The fact that we excepted to the circuit court decision and is on the record, means that the defendants have the right for the supreme court whenever that matter goes up on a cue, the supreme court will also review that particular action to determining as to whether the order granted by the magistrate violates the constitutional right of the defendants”, the defense counsel argues.
However, they believe that they have made a conscious decision not to pursue the matter further before the Supreme Court Chamber Justice and or subsequently before the Supreme Court but to revert to Magistrate Jallah’s ruling and respond to the subpoena.
Speaking at a news conference at the Heritage and Associates Law Firm in Monrovia on Wednesday, February 16, 2022, lead lawyer representing Mr. Cummings and Co-defendants, Cllr. Abraham B. Sillah said that defendants in a response communication dated February 14, 2022, to the subpoena duces tecum issued by the Monrovia City Court, the defendants without prejudice to their constitutional and statutory right, state for the record and submit that none of the defendants, singly with the other defendants or along with the representative of the other constituent parties of the CPP signed, received, or are in possession of what is described as the “originally signed framework document of May 19, 2020.”
According to Cllr. Sillah, the defendants do not have the document described in the subpoena as the “originally signed framework document of May 19, 2020’’ because it has never existed and
does not exist.
See exhibit A:
Cllr. Sillah notes that the controversy over the content of the unsigned May 19, 2020 document led to an immediate decision by the leaders of the CPP to have the document reviewed, revised, and amended by the team of lawyers whose revised version of the CPP framework document was presented to the political leaders and relevant officers of all the parties on June 23, 2020.
He explains that it was filed with the National Elections Commission of Liberia (NEC) in July 2020, whereupon the CPP was certificated by the NEC on August 14, 2020, reiterating that there is no “original signed framework document on May 19, 2020.’’ Rather, he says the only signed framework document is the one filed with NEC in July 2020, and a copy of which is attached to their response to the court.
The defense lawyer also points out that before and after the signing of the CPP framework of May 19, 2020, Mr. Alexander B. Cummings was not the Chairman of the CPP but the ALL Liberian Party political leader, Mr. Benoni Urey, who was the chairperson and organizer of the May 19, 2020 framework document, presented no document to Mr. Cummings to include even the May 19, 2020 document because each of the parties signed at its own location, and therefore, challenges Mr. Urey to provide so.
He says it was during Mr. Cummings’ leadership that the document was revised by the lawyers and later submitted to the political leaders and the lawyers did a presentation of the revised version and have a discussion of the 10 counts they corrected before it was endorsed subsequently by the four political leaders with a resolution presently at NEC.
‘’Let me bring you to the status of the case, when the defendants answered to the writ and pleaded not guilty, we requested that the prosecution come to provide all the species of evidence that they relied on and it was made by and through the court and granted by the judge.
On January 14, 2020, the prosecution provided us what they refer to as the original, real CPP framework document signed May 19, 2020.
They provided us also the revised version of the same May 19, 2020 CPP document that was revised by the lawyers and handed over to us the copy of the CPP document that was filed with the NEC along with the internal investigation report conducted by the CPP under the chairpersonship of Senator Nyonblee Kangar-Lawrence, amongst other documents’’, he narrates.
According to him, Wedensday, February 16, 2020 made the case exactly 45 days and this is an action of forgery and criminal conspiracy which sentence is not more than four months, while the fines if any, is not more than a thousand United States dollars but it’s surprising to note that the prosecution is struggling to get the evidence they claimed to rely on in prosecuting the matter, wondering what they saw or relied on before instituting a criminal action.
Cllr. Sillah notes that the documents presented by the prosecution as evidence are the same documents the defendants also have, including all the other political parties therefore, hence he argues the prosecution has no truth and proof against Mr. Cummings.
He reveals that they will be going back to court and prosecution should prove what was altered as they claim and the both documents they are depending on will be provided by the
prosecution, saying “We have requested the court for an assignment because Mr. Cummings has nothing to hide and he did not alter any document.”
He continues that those who reported that Mr. Cummings and his co-defendants have bowed to the Magistrate’s ruling are making falsehood thereby, terming it as a completely untrue and misleading.
The defense counsel maintains it has not provided any documentation to the court because such never existed but responds to the subpoena duces tecum. https://thenewdawnliberia.com/ex-sen-ballout-cpp-errs-in-handling-cummings-over-to-government/Editing by Jonathan Browne