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Solicitor General claims attacks in Court

By Lincoln G. Peters

Liberia’s Solicitor General Cllr. Saymah Syrenius Cephas has verbally complained in court of being an alleged subject of insults and all forms of demeaning statements from Atty. Lafayette Gould, a rival counsel representing opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) leader Alexander B. Cummings in a criminal trial.

During the hearing of the case over the weekend, Cllr. Cephas took up some time complaining to Monrovia City Court Magistrate Jomah Jallah that because he requested the court to declare Mr. Cummings a hostile witness, he has been subject to insults and all forms of demeaning statements from Atty. Gould.

Additionally, Cephas claimed that he had been accused again by Atty. Gould of allegedly seeking to replace Cllr. Frank Musa Dean as Liberia’s Justice Minister.

“Firstly, pointing to the witness as hostile has no bearing for Atty. Gould to say I need and [I’m] seeking the Justice Minister job of Liberia or other higher office,” Cephas complained. 

“I want to call your attention, [Your] Honor and the attention of this court to the threatening, insulting and demeaning statement made by Atty. Gould against me. During my 20 years of practice, I have learned to work with the police, court, and colleagues in order to be successful,” said Cephas.

He urged that the court “advise us” because what he will do as Solicitor General, he has remedy, at law not by taking anything by force.

Cllr. Cephas narrated that when he prayed for the court to declare Mr. Cummings a hostile witness, Atty. Gould in open court allegedly issued a threat to put his (Cephus’) butt outside, a Liberian way of threatening to expose someone’s deeds.

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The Solicitor General indicated that Atty. Gould further stated that he (Cephas) would go down in Liberian history as the worst SG this country has ever had.

He lamented that Atty. Gould claimed that he (Cephas) fought the first Solicitor General (appointed by President George Manneh Weah) and took his job, but vowed that he will never be given the Justice Minister job he is allegedly fighting for.

“Today I’m against him but tomorrow we will be on the same side, therefore, please advise him to desist [from] making such unfounded statements against me,” Cllr. Cephas pleaded.

When asked by Magistrate Jomah Jallah concerning the allegation, Atty. Gould replied saying the statement by the SG was untrue, noting that he has great respect for Cllr. Cephas.

Atty. Gould explained that at no time did he make such a statement against the SG, nor will he ever do so because they came a long way.

Instead, Atty. Gould claimed that Cllr. Cephas wanted to present him badly before the court and society.

However, advising both lawyers, Magistrate Jallah called on them to desist from making such statements against each other if it did happen because they all are members of the black gown society.

Magistrate Jallah urged the lawyers to exclude emotion from the case in which they are representing their clients, saying after the case, they will meet as members of the bar and will still have the opportunity to serve on the same side one day.

Cephas represents the Government of Liberia while Gould represents Cummings in the ongoing trial of the opposition ANC leader who faces criminal charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy at the Monrovia City Court. 

Prosecutors here drew the charges based on accusations made against Cummings by his fellow opposition leader Mr. Benoni Urey and the All Liberian Party (ALP) that the accused and his ANC party allegedly tampered with the framework agreement of the Collaborating Political Parties and attached his (Urey’s) signature to a photocopy version.

Cummings denies any wrongdoing and has also challenged prosecutors’ claim that there exists an original CPP framework agreement other than what his accusers’ claim is a photocopy version. He has instead challenged them to produce the original.

But when the opposition All Liberian Party chairman Mr. Theodore Momo testified in the case last week, he alleged that the original version of the CPP framework agreement being requested by prosecutors does exist.

Momo claimed that each of the four CPP constituent party leaders and the National Elections Commission (NEC) had a copy.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/court-denies-government-motion/

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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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