Toe’s “Illegal Arrest” Unacceptable, Says Cummings -CPP Vows National, Regional, International Legal Recourse
The Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) on Friday, December 18 secured the release of their jailed Secretary General, Cllr. Aloysius Toe, from police custody for allegedly inciting violence during the recent midterm senatorial elections in Gbarpolu County. But, CPP Chairman Alexander Cummings has termed Cllr. Toe arrest as illegal and unwarranted in 21st century Liberia.
CPP Chairman Cummings, addressing the media following the release of Cllr. Toe on Friday, said “it is totally unacceptable that a government in Liberia will be illegally arresting its citizens in this 21st century”.
“We are concerned about the elections in Gbarpolu. We will be monitoring the situation, but today, we are very grateful that Aloysius and his team are all safe, we thank God for that. We were very concerned about his safety, as he was illegally arrested and detained. This is unacceptable in a 21st Century Liberia,” Chairman Cummings blasted the Weah government on the stairs of the Liberian National Police Friday.
Also addressing the media, Liberian Human Rights lawyer Attorney Kofi Woods differed with the government, saying that Cllr. Toe was illegally arrested and detained, and that the CPP will exhaust national, regional and international recourse to seek justice for not only Cllr. Toe and his team, but for other violations meted against Liberians by supporters of the ruling establishment.
Buttressing the CPP Chairman’s position, human rights lawyer Attorney Kofi Woods extolled the role and participation of all well-meaning Liberians that fought to secure the release of Cllr. Toe and his team.
“We came basically to represent Cllr. Aloysius Toe and others that were illegally detained in Gbarpolu few days ago, and we’ve been able to successfully release them. It’s part of a collective pressure so no one can claim credit. We just want to thank everyone and thank God that Aloysius is back safely. But as I indicated, there will be serious consequence for such cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. It’s a violation of international laws, crimes against humanity. So it will not go unpunished,” Atty. Woods vowed.
“We will pursue legal course of action, and this will not be ignored. This is not just one incident, Aloysius is not alone. There were several other person affected by this. There are other cases of electoral violence around the country. There are cases of missing individuals, and many violations that have taken place. We want to sound that all of these cannot be neglected by any government. We will pursue them and do the best that we can within the confines and context of the law. We will pursue it nationally, regionally and internationally,” the renowned human rights lawyer claimed.
Commenting further on what he said was the illegal arrest and detention of Cllr. Aloysius Toe and team, Atty. Woods said since last Wednesday, the CPP Secretary General and others had been detained, imprisoned and treated inhumanely.
“That is a serious concern to us because it’s violation of his rights and the rights of others; and there are several other violations that have taken place in this country that we have noted. As you know, there are other cases of electoral violence in other parts of the country, as in Grand Kru. We are also involved in the case of the three missing young men with the St. Moses case. We will continue to be involved in these cases and other violations,” Atty. Kofi averred.
Also, a stalwart of the opposition CPP, Mr. Orishal Gould, also confirmed the release of Cllr. Toe and team, but under a precondition that they report at the LNP next Monday for further investigations.
“We will take him to Central on Monday for further investigation. He’s gone to the hospital to do a checkup. Since last week Monday government security forces have been holding them under very unsanitary conditions. Late today, they turned them over to the police,” Mr. Gould said.
It can be recalled that since Sunday, December 13, 2020, reports started filtering in from Norma, Gbarpolu County Electoral District #3 about a wave of electoral violence meted against Independent Candidate madam Botoe Kanneh who was reportedly arrested by armed men believed to be state securities.
It was also reportedly that the brother of Ms. Kanneh, Cllr. Boakai Kanneh was allegedly ordered beaten by a traditional group in Norma, Gbarpolu electoral district 3. Already, the NEC has called for a rerun in the disputed four polling places.
On Friday, the government of Liberia confirmed the arrest of Cllr. Aloysius Toe for allegedly inciting electoral violence, Cllr. Toe and his team had gone into the disputed Norma Town to verify information about the harassment of Independent senatorial candidate Madam Botoe Kanneh who was leading the polls prior to the violence.