State Abandons Criminal Trial against Cummings, Others -After months of legal maneuverings

MONROVIA –  Seen as the last vestige of hope for the majority Liberians yearning for real change that could reshape their lot, the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) gave Liberians a rude awakening when it got embroiled in an internal quarrel that threatened the existence of Liberia’s biggest opposition tent. For over five months the CPP has been fighting a legal battle both at the National Elections Commission and the courts over allegations that certain constituent members had altered the framework document, an issue that has been at the core of the CPP disintegration. The case pitted All Liberia Party (ALP) political leader Benoni Urey and his party chairman Theodore Momo against Alternative National Congress Standard Bearer Alexander B. Cumming and two other officials of the CPP, with former Vice President Joseph Boakai of the Unity Party and his party chairman Mo Ali serving as two of the many prosecution state witnesses against the accused.

Well, after a long-running legal battle, Liberia’s Solicitor General Sayma Syrenius Cephus has now abandoned the criminal trial, saying government has dropped all charges of Forgery and Criminal conspiracy against the Political Leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC), Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, and two other officials.

Solicitor General Cephus said Friday, June 3, 2022, that the necessary documents were being filed at the Monrovia City Court to enter in a nolle prosequi to withdraw and drop all charges with immediate effect.

The case of forgery and criminal conspiracy against the ANC Political Leader, Mr. Alexander Cummings, its National Chairman Daniel Naatehn and Secretary General Counsellor Aloysius Toe has been lingering in court for the past five months without going into the substantive issue of the charges.

Cummings had persistently rejected the charges as bogus, and said the trial was politically motivated in cahoots with the All Liberian Party of Mr. Benoni Urey, the Unity Party and the ruling CDC Government of President George Weah in their desperate attempt to thwart his Presidential bid in 2023.

Last month, ANC Political Leader Cummings hired two internationally reputable firms, Omnia and Alaco based in London, to conduct forensic investigation into the 26-page framework document of the Collaborating Political Parties CPP alleged to have been forged and altered.

After three weeks of investigation, Omnia 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.

Omnia 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.

Pundits are of the firm opinion that the decision by state prosecutors led by Solicitor General Cephus to drop all charges against Mr. Cummings, didn’t come as a surprise, as it has been contemplated since the outcome of the forensic investigation by the two London based firms credited for their outstanding world record.

State Prosecutors led by the Solicitor General of the Ministry of Justice were aided by 10 other lawyers representing the All Liberian Party and the Unity Party that had pressed charges against Cummings and others, represented by three lawyers of the Heritage Law Firm and the Kemp and Associates Law firm in Monrovia.

Six witnesses of the 34 subpoenaed witnesses including former Vice President Joseph Boakai and his Secretary General of the Unity Party testified for the Liberian Government, before the charges were dropped, after a court trial on Friday, June 3, 2022.

Meanwhile, the ANC Political Leader has declined to make any comment on the decision by the Liberian Government to have abandoned the trial, and clear him of all criminal charges relative to alteration of the CPP framework document.

The CPP framework document was signed by four Political Parties including the Alternative National Congress, All Liberian Party, Liberty Party and the Unity Party, intended to unite the opposition and vote  President George Weah out of office in the 2023 elections.

The All Liberian Party and the Unity Party have withdrawn, leaving the Alternative National Congress and the Liberty Party in the CPP to champion the cause of the destitute Liberians sinking deeper into abject poverty due to misrule and bad governance by the ruling CDC Government of President George Weah.

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