By Lincoln Peters
The Liberian government has dropped all criminal charges against opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC) political leader Mr. Alexander B. Cummings and others accused of tampering with the framework document of the disintegrated Collaborating Political Parties (CPP).
Liberia’s Solicitor General Cllr. Sayma Syrenius Cephus told journalists over the weekend that when the court speaks on any issue of law, whether directly or indirectly, as in the case of Mr. Cummings, every other major or auxiliary issue appertaining thereto becomes legally shallow or moot and somewhat difficult if not impossible to litigate.
Cephus said that State can no longer seek to prosecute Mr. Cummings and his co-defendants after Liberia’s Supreme Court handed a ruling allowing former CPP constituent parties Unity Party (UP) and All Liberian Party (ALP) to field candidates in their own name in the ensuing Lofa County Senatorial By-election.
The decision to drop the charges also follows a forensic report by two internationally reputable firms Ammia and Alaco based in London hired by ANC leader Cummings to establish through forensic investigation whether tampering occurred or not.
After three weeks of investigation, Amnia headed by Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair reported that there was no substantial evidence to have warranted the charges and criminal prosecution of Mr. Cummings and two other ANC stalwarts.
Amnia and Alaco forensic investigation described the case and subsequent trial of the ANC officials as a wild goose chase and said the allegations and charges couldn’t stand the test of any competent court of trial.
Cummings and two of his party officials have been facing criminal charges at the Monrovia City Court 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 of the past months. Cummings has always denied any wrongdoing.
While he faced trial, his ANC party and a faction of the Liberia Party (LP), another CPP constituent party, lodged a case before the National Elections Commission (NEC) seeking the denial of UP and ALP from fielding candidates in their own name in the Lofa by-election and the pending 2023 presidential and legislative elections.
However, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the NEC and ruled that the UP and ALP were free to field their own candidates.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision, Cllr. Cephus said the State saw no reason to continue the prosecution of Mr. Cummings, thereby dropping the charges without prejudice to the State.
“That said, the excitement and the willpower to vigorously prosecute the Cummings case and ensure that justice, whether “Conviction or Acquittal,” is achieved, have strangely fallen on ice,” Cephus said.
He noted that he was constrained to highlight the compelling need of calling a spade a spade, end the trial, and drop all criminal charges against defendants Cummings and his lieutenants without prejudice to the state and with the right to refile where applicable.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/cummings-trial-a-wild-goose-chase-british-firms-reveal/ -Edited by Othello B. Garblah