“Provide Evidence on Cummings’ Prosecution” -Justice Minister Directs Solicitor General  

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Liberia, Cllr. Frank Musah Dean has directed the Solicitor General of Liberia, Cllr. Syrenius Cephus to furnish his office with the proper evidence which provides the basis for the prosecution of Alexander B. Cummings and others who are currently standing trials for alleged forgery in a case filed by Mr. Benoni Wilfred Urey, the Political Leader of the All Liberia Party (ALP).

According to a press release issued yesterday, Monday, April 25, 2022, and signed by Charles G. Hleb Jr, Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs at the Ministry of Justice, the Minister’s directive is consistent with section 22.2 of the Executive Law, which states that it shall be the duty of the Minister of Justice to “procure the proper evidence for an conduct, prosecute or defend all suits and proceedings in the courts in which the Republic of Liberia or any officer thereof, as to such officer, is a party or may be interested.

The release said the Minister cautioned that henceforth, the prosecution of all cases must be approved by his office; and prosecutors are advised to furnish the office of the Minister with the proper evidence in support of any and all prosecutions.

Cllr. Dean noted that he is under obligations to ensure that the purpose of prosecution is not to taunt, harass, grandstand, punish or convict, but to pursue the truth; and that in the instant case, the writ against Alexander B. Cummings and others was never quashed and, therefore could not have been reinstated by the office of the Minister.

Information about what prompted the Minister to give such a directive is not yet clear, but pundits are of the view that it may not be unconnected to a text message attributed to Cllr. Cephas sent to the public in which he blamed Minister Dean of being responsible for whatever goes on inversely with the trials of Mr. Cummings at the Monrovia City Court (MCC).

In the text message, Cllr. Cephas stated, thus:

 “Good morning. A lot of misinformation is going on about my role in the Alexander B. Cummings and others trial, but the truth is, it was the Minister of Justice Cllr. Frank Musa Dean who ordered there-issuance of the writ of arrest against them after it was first quashed. Under Liberian law, he is the only person who can disagree with the President or the government on the question of law and still keep his job and he is the only person who can order the matter to be dismissed. I am only a Prosecutor who is acting under his control and supervision but he is afraid to take a firm decision and believes that I will unilaterally abandon the case so that he can use it against me to the government and people of Liberia; my role is like a frontline commander only acting on instructions. Look at the waves of crimes in the country and there are no arrests and prosecutions and yet there’s a Justice Minister who believes his role is being usurped by someone like me whose role is simply to go to court. In the coming days I ‘ll give you details of what I think is the problem with our criminal justice system, SG.”

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