Costa’s No Holds Barred Outburst -Says “JNB Betrayed Me; Instigated Cummings Failed Lawsuit”

MONROVIA:  After his long awaited silence about his political direction in the wake of a reported snub from being picked as a running mate to the Standard Bearer of the Unity Party, Ambassador Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Talkshow host and a one- time leading figure in the opposition community, Henry Pedro Costa yesterday let the cat out of the bag about his feeling and the next move in the political space, asserting that he was betrayed by Boakai after rendering a lot of sacrifices to his (JNB) political career.

Speaking at a well- publicized press conference at the National Headquarters of the All Liberia Party (ALP) on the Old Road, yesterday, Monday, July 10, 2023 laid the basis of his speech by saying he firmly believed that his period of silence enabled him “to have a sober reflection, consultation, and healing as a necessary investment in our collective growth and success”, adding, “it has allowed us to emerge stronger, more focused, and better equipped to tackle the challenges ahead.

Costa said the ALP under the leadership of its political leader, Benoni Wilfred Urey became a trusted supporter of the political ambition of Mr. Boakai without any condition attached from the second round of the hotly contested presidential election of 2017 between the then Senator George Manneh Weah of the Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC) and Boakai as well as forging a partnership with Boakai during the days of the once united Collaborating Political Parties(CPP). He said Urey on his own elevated his loyalty to Boakai to the extent that his relationship with Alexander B. Cummings was severed.

“A few years ago, our Political Leader, Hon. Benoni Urey, set off some nerves in the camp of our former CPP partner, the ANC, when he publicly announced that he would not be vying for the presidency himself, and stated that Amb. Joseph Boakai should be crowned the Standard Bearer of the CPP because of his experience and seniority, amongst other reasons. That single pronouncement, which I must admit, wasn’t exactly a derived position of our party, caused a deep rift between us and the Alex Cummings camp. However, we believed that there was a need for decisiveness to ensure a clear path for opposition victory.

“When the ALP established that the CPP framework document had been fraudulently tampered with by the ANC, our Political Leader raised the matter with Amb. Boakai. And both Amb. Boakai and Hon. Urey decided that we would go to court. However, Amb. Boakai impressed upon our Political Leader that being the current CPP Chairman, which he Amb. Boakai was at the time, and an elderly statesman, it would not look good on him to be a direct party in the lawsuit, so he asked the ALP to singlehandedly file the lawsuit against Alex Cummings and his ANC, for forgery and other charges. Had ALP not caught the forgery that had been done to the framework agreement, the Unity Party today would have been in trouble because the perpetrators of this forgery had targeted provisions that would make Ambassador Boakai ineligible”.

“One of those provisions stated that anyone who was not in good health would not be able to contest for the CPP standard bearer position and that was directly put in place to stop Ambassador Boakai from contesting. The ALP fought this battle singlehandedly to protect his candidacy. To our utmost surprise, elements in UP would be the ones branding the ALP as troublemakers in an effort to make ALP look bad to the public”.

Costa who spoke from a prepared text said the ALP was very committed to the presidential pursuit of Boakai and as such did whatever was in the power of Urey to ensure that the pursuit did not go unhindered, citing the request of Boakai to Urey to explore the possibility of floating another political party outside of the Unity Party because according to Costa, Boakai was wary of a situation that the former President Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf might undermine his leadership in the former ruling party.

He said Urey yielded the request and contacted Prof. Alaric Tokpa to form the Democratic Alliance of Liberia but after the work was done, some people with vested interest including Brownie Samukai, Representative Nyumalin, Kofi Woods and others persuaded Boakai not to go the route but stick to the Unity Party structure and make other parties to join it as it did not really need others to win the election

“We were not surprised at this considering these are the group of people who had previously convinced Ambassador Boakai to not attend an endorsement program that was organized by ALP in Gbarnga canceling only two days to the ceremony, after the ALP had spent tens of thousands of dollars to mobilize and plan for that program in support of JNB. We realized that there were certain individuals in Amb. Boakai’s circle that were bent on ostracizing ALP and creating very bad feelings amongst ALP leaders.

“For reasons unbeknownst to us till today, Amb. Joseph Boakai accepted their proposal, and dropped the idea of the Democratic Alliance of Liberia which he had asked Mr. Urey to create. He then tried to convince Mr. Urey to come onboard the Alliance formed by Brownie Samukai, Francis Nyumalin and Kofi Woods”, he said

Costa took a good portion of his address to speak on the controversial running mate issue which according to him was actually offered to him by Boakai in exchange for the financial war chest coming from “some serious and powerful people” who had made a proposal to him to contest the presidency and was assured of massive support but he(Costa) said he declined the offer and suggested the offer to be made to Boakai.

“When it was my turn to speak or give an answer to the proposition that had just been made to me, I nervously thanked them for their most generous offer, but firmly and respectfully declined it.

“I told them that I could not accept their money to run against Amb. Joseph Boakai for I was fully committed to his candidacy and I believed it would deeply devastate a man that I had come to love, admire, and enthusiastically support. It would be the most painful act of betrayal, I believed at the time. The gentlemen were deeply disappointed by my answer, but ironically, they were also blown away and impressed by my loyalty to a man who is not even a remote relative of mine. Considering the serious money problems that Uncle Joe was facing, which I am very well familiar with, I then passionately pleaded with the gentlemen to convey my humble and fervent request to their superiors that I wanted them to kindly divert and give the entire 30-million-dollar package to Amb. Joseph Boakai for his presidential campaign, while I would then focus on my already-declared bid for the senate seat of Montserrado County”

Costa said after the meeting he returned to the United States to prepare for the arrival of Boakai to visit the United States for further medical check up after being discharged from the ELWA hospital. He said while he was in transit in Ghana he got in contact with Mrs. Louise Tamba, wife of a nephew to Boakai, whom he has built a strong bond with over the years about the transaction and that he had made a request to the financier for the offer to go to Boakai as he did not want to betray the former VP but told her to keep it to herself in the meantime.

“But Sis Louise, being so worried about the terrible money problems facing former VP Boakai, and concerned about how much Amb. Boakai worries about his serious money problems, especially with the impending presidential campaign, she couldn’t hold back her excitement at the strong possibility that Amb. Joseph Boakai’s money problems could soon be over so she ignored my wishes and proceeded to inform VP Boakai who was already with us in the United States, literally seven minutes from my residence in Delaware.

“The next morning when I arrived at the residence we had rented for Amb. Boakai, I went upstairs to greet him as I usually did, if he wasn’t already downstairs whenever I got there. Upon seeing me, he immediately, with much excitement, broke the word to me that Mrs. Tamba had told him what he believed was the best news in a long time about my meeting with the financial backers at Royal Hotel. He said he believed that it was God’s mysterious way of solving our money problems. He was so happy and thanked me profusely for what he believed was a great, uncommon sacrifice that I had made to turn down 30 million United States Dollars to run for president out of deep loyalty to him. I was very happy to see him happy”.

He said for several weeks while awaiting the good news from the financial backers, Boakai put him under serious pressure almost every for updates and fortunately the financiers got back to him on February 11 a day after Boakai had departed for Liberia with a favorable answer that they were to support Boakai with the condition that he(Costa) will go as the running mate, an offer Boakai accepted.

Costa said he used the opportunity to extract a confirmation from Boakai that he would not pick Senator Jeremiah Koung as running mate “I believe Jeremiah Koung stands for nothing, and has spent all his years in the House and Liberian Senate busy enriching himself, voting for every bad deal that came before him and never once stood up for the Liberian people’s interests”.

“I also told Amb. Boakai that picking Jeremiah Koung who is a political puppet of Prince Johnson’s, a very dangerous warlord who is under U.S. sanctions, would be deemed as a slap in the face to the United States, our oldest and most important partner. I went further to tell Uncle Joe that having a troubled man like Prince Johnson close to the presidency would be a grave threat to our national security and our fledgling democracy.

“My fellow Liberians, Amb. Boakai agreed with me on all these counts and proceeded to promise me that he would never make the mistake of selecting Jeremiah Koung as his running mate as it would be devastating for the country and he had the responsibility to pick someone with shared ideals. But of course, he would ultimately break his promise a few weeks later”, he said..

He said Boakai had also told him that he was not going pick Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence as his running mate” because of her weakened position due to the internal crisis in her party and because of the way she had treated Charles Brumskine’s party and people by mortgaging it to the likes of Musa Bility”.

Costa, flanked by some of the leaders of the ALP said on March 16, 2023, Ambassador Boakai and his team of four persons arrived Accra, Ghana to hold a meeting with the financiers, an occasion that “would dramatically change the way I would see him forever”.

“After telling me that he would commit to them that he would make me his running mate, he broke his promise and went on a rampage of trying to damage my reputation to people who I had brought to support him. He even went as far as blasting them for offering me such a deal rather than to him. He told them to dump me and give him the 30 million dollars so he could pick whoever he wanted for his running mate, in exchange he promised to give them anything they wanted in Liberia if he won. He specifically said he would give them the Wologizi mountain in Lofa County. Moreover, he also told them that he could never select Jeremiah Koung or Nyonblee as his Vice-giving them the same reasons as he had previously given me. As you may expect, the people were very shocked by Amb. Boakai’s behavior, and when they asked him about his promise to name me as his running mate, Amb. Boakai vehemently denied ever promising to make me his running mate”, he said.

He said after getting a feedback from one of the representatives for the financiers about how the meeting went on with the betrayal from Boakai, he(Costa) was furious about it and decided to get to Boakai and added other persons on the call including Telia Urey, a son of Boakai, Jojo, and Mrs Tamba where he expressed his disgust about the whole situation from where the former Vice President apologized to him for the reported act of betrayal.

“I was hoping that the news of Uncle Joe’s betrayal was not true. But sadly, he confessed on the call that he did indeed betray me. After confessing his cruel action, he went further to apologize. He said, “Henry, I am not too old to say sorry when I have wronged someone, and what I did to you was very wrong, I am sorry. Please forgive me.” After he uttered those words in a seemingly sorrowful tone, I instantly felt sorry for him and blamed his action on the desperate financial situation he was in. I accepted his apology and we moved on to discuss how we would salvage the mess and try to get the funds for the campaign. On that call, I even told him that he did not have to select me as his running mate, but that we needed to find a way to bring the people back on board so as to not lose the golden opportunity. There were many other things we discussed on that call”, he said.

Costa recounted that upon the return of Boakai to Liberia, the whole drama changed to a very horrible situation to the extent that the standard bearer of the UP decided to join others to fabricate lies against him.

“Fellow Liberians, what came next was extremely horrible and unbelievable. The same people that we had supported and worked very closely with for many years suddenly turned on us and began to fabricate wicked and crazy lies against us. It began with a nonsensical lie that the financial backers that Amb. Boakai had met with in Accra were fake and that they were agents of the CDC government. Ambassador Boakai even went to the extent of talking to Saah Joseph on the phone, where Saah Joseph convinced him that it was the CDC government that was clandestinely putting up the 30 million dollars so that if he, Joe Boakai, were to pick me as his running mate, he would lose the election to the CDC. When I was told these things, with no denial from a man that I had loyally served, I was left disheartened, shocked, and with a strong feeling of betrayal”, he said.

In the press conference that lasted several minutes, Costa said the worst of all he encountered in the whole episode was the lie told by Boakai and his handlers against him that he was plotting to connive with some American doctors to kill him(Boakai) when he gets to the United States for his medical examinations to do triple bypass open heart surgery to have a weakening artery in his heart removed and replaced by another artery from his thigh. He said the doctors advised that if he didn’t get the surgery done within six months, his heart could stop beating.

“We were all very scared, as you can imagine, with this diagnosis. We decided to keep this information a very tight secret and work very fast to get Uncle Joe back to the United States for the surgery. So, on March 2nd, after I had raised the money for the trip, we had a Zoom meeting to finalize plans for the very important trip back to the States. In that meeting were Louise Tamba, who lives in Minnesota, Jake Kabakole, Sahr Johnny, Jojo Boakai, Uncle Joe, and myself. I coordinated the meeting.

“The next day, I bought two plane tickets, one business class for Uncle Joe and one economy for his nephew, Jacob Kabakole, to depart Liberia on March 23 via Accra on Delta Airlines to arrive in New York the next day and onward to Minnesota. I bought one ticket for myself to fly from Delaware to Minnesota on the same day of March 23 to receive them from the airport and drive them to the residence I had booked for them in Rochester, Minnesota. Everything was all set. But two weeks to their departure from Liberia, Jake Kabakole called me to say that Uncle Joe was canceling the trip. I didn’t ask him why, but I was shocked that Uncle Joe would cancel such an important trip without speaking with me. It was very strange and unusual.

“But then days later, I started to hear yet the gravest rumor that Amb. Boakai believed (maybe influenced by his people) that President George Weah and his people had provided me with a huge amount of money to pay several American cardiothoracic doctors in an American hospital to kill Amb. Joseph Nyuma Boakai during the surgery, and so that was why Uncle Joe canceled the surgery. I couldn’t believe that they could go to that extent.

“But on March 30th, the bombshell came from Amb. Joseph Boakai himself. He sent me a long WhatsApp message saying a lot of things and in the last paragraph, he said that he had received information that he would be killed in the surgery and would therefore not participate in the elections, so he wasn’t going for the surgery anymore. I was beyond shocked and deeply heartbroken when I read that message which validated all the rumors that I was hearing. I still have it in my phone”, he said.

Costa said as of now, the relationship between Boakai and the ALP has completely broken down since the announcement of Senator Koung as the running mate and the UP and its agents and collaborators have done a lot to frustrate and disrespect Urey and the ALP after standing by him for a protracted period when his(Boakai) was going through a lot challenges.

In concluding his address, he said the ALP felt betrayed by Boakai and Unity Party and will in a few days take a stand towards the new direction the party will take in the ensuing general elections. He however, did not elaborate.

  1. Garsuah Gborvlehn says

    A Government or a Prosecution dropping a case is not a failed lawsuit! We listened to and watched via youtube Henry Costa. Costa never mentioned anything NOR EVER SAID “Cummings failed lawsuit“. It is a blatant and diabolical lie for reporting that Costa said “Cummings failed lawsuit“. STOP SUCH LIES!

    Cummings is on record for his criminal perpetrations and his dangerous disregard for such democratic tenets or values as freedom, rights, justice, equality, etc.!!! Cummings committed the crimes of forgery, conspiracy, solicitation, etc.!

  2. Jacob Doe says

    “A few years ago, our Political Leader, Hon. Benoni Urey, set off some nerves in the camp of our former CPP partner, the ANC, when he publicly announced that he would not be vying for the presidency himself, and stated that Amb. Joseph Boakai should be crowned the Standard Bearer of the CPP because of his experience and seniority, amongst other reasons. That single pronouncement, which I must admit, wasn’t exactly a derived position of our party, caused a deep rift between us and the Alex Cummings camp. However, we believed that there was a need for decisiveness to ensure a clear path for opposition victory.


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