The Inquirer is a leading independent daily newspaper published in Liberia, based in Monrovia. It is privately owned with a "good reputation".

Prosecution Purges Tampering
Charges Off Cummings, Others

By Grace Q. Bryant
The Government of Liberia through its Solicitor-General, Sayma Syrenius Cephus, has announced that the government has dropped all charges against Alexander B. Cummings and others for ‘forgery and criminal conspiracy’ brought against them by the All Liberian Party (ALP).
In a statement issued on Friday, Solicitor-General Cephus said there was no reason to further adjudicate the case following the Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of the Unity Party and the All Liberian Party (ALP) to field a candidate in the Lofa County Senatorial Bi-Election.
Benoni Urey’s ALP sued Mr. Cummings and the ANC hierarchy for allegedly altering the CPP framework document by inserting an illegal exit clause that bars breakaway member of the CPP from contesting in any election until 202; a case which is lingering at the Monrovia City Court amidst a strange prosecutorial proceeding.
However, in the wake of the high court’s ruling in favor of the UP and ALP in a separate case that borders on the same exit clause, the Chief Prosecutor, in a lengthy statement under the title, “Why All Criminal Charges Are Dropped Against Cummings and Others Without Prejudice to the State,” stated that amidst the Supreme Court’s ruling, “the excitement and the will-power to vigorously prosecute the Cummings’ case and ensure that justice, whether “CONVICTION or ACQUITTAL” is achieved, have strangely fallen on ice.”
Sayma Syrenius Cephus: “Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s interpretation, and being a Liberian citizen who has practiced and continues to practice before this court of last resort, I find it absolutely difficult if not impossible to delude myself of the fact that when the court speaks on any issue of law whether directly or indirectly, as in the case of Alexander B. Cummings, every other major or auxiliary issue appertaining thereto becomes legally shallow or moot and somewhat difficult if not impossible to litigate.”
He continued: “Therefore, I am constrained to highlight the compelling need of calling a spade a spade and to end the trial and drop any and all criminal charges against defendants Alexander B. Cummings and his lieutenants without prejudice to the state and with the right to re-file where applicable. In so doing, let me refresh and drill your mind through some of the actions in court for the last five months in prosecuting a “misdemeanor” and why such a decision has become an alternative to serve as a form of a respite rather than an absolute relief.
“Therefore, the extent of the injury the Republic of Liberia has suffered for the alteration or forging of the CPP framework document, which in my opinion is a private contract between private parties is “remote” and does not rise to the level of being “egregious” to warrant further prosecution of this matter,” he further explained.
According to him, the supposedly private prosecutor on whose behalf the Liberian state is prosecuting this matter is neither the ALP nor the UP, instead, it is imaginary, hence, it is difficult to decipher the raison d’être, why Cummings and others should still be in the dock when the moving parties (ALP and UP) are not signatories to and have out rightly rejected the disputed framework document that was filed with the NEC. The Liberian law in my opinion does not prosecute anyone for a crime whose victim is prospective and in which there is no injury or damage done.
He explained that the Ministry of Justice as the prosecuting arm of the government and the guarantor of law and public order could not stand idly by or play spectator to emotional exchanges and name-calling, claims and counterclaims that attended the alleged forgery and criminal conspiracy saga in the CPP.
He maintained that the Ministry had to act judiciously to avert what was gradually becoming a state of pandemonium and public unrest within the CPP to serve as a form of deterrence. Now that the Republic of Liberia has full appreciation of the facts, circumstances and the quantum of evidence, it is constrained to take a legal recourse to the law which says: “The ethical and primary duty of a prosecutor is not to convict, but to afford the defendant charged with crime a fair and impartial trial. Fairness of trial must comprehend justness of the laws under which the defendant answers; and the justness of those laws must be measured against the defendant’s rights under the Constitution.”
Meanwhile, Cephus who announced the abandonment of the criminal trial said the government has dropped all charges of Forgery and Criminal conspiracy against the ANC and on Friday, June 3, 2022, said the necessary documents were 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 Cummings, its National Chairperson Daniel Naatehn and Secretary General, Cllr Aloysius Toe has been lingering in court for the past five months without going into the substantive issue of the charges and Cummings had persistently rejected the charges as bogus and said the trial was politically motivated in cohort with Urey, the Unity Party and the CDC Government of President George Weah in their desperate attempt to thwart his Presidential bid in 2023.
Last month, the ANC political leader hired two internationally reputable firms, Ammia and Alaco based in London to conduct forensic investigation into the 26 page framework document of the CPP alleged to have been forged and altered and after three weeks of investigation, Amnia headed by Chire Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair reported that there were no substantial evidence to have warranted the charges and criminal prosecution of Mr. Cummings and two other 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 could not stand the test of any competent court of trial.
The ANC believe that the decision by state prosecutors led by Solicitor General Cephus to drop all charges against Mr. Cummings, did not 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 dropping the charges.
The ANC’s political leader has declined to make any comment on the decision by the Liberian government to have abandoned the trial, and purged him off all criminal charges relative to the alteration of 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 the CDC out in the 2023 elections but the ALP and the UP withdrew leaving the ANC and the LP in the CPP.

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