MONROVIA-The Government of Liberia through the Ministry of the Justice particularly the office of the Solicitor General, Sayma S. Cephus has temporarily freed opposition leader, Mr. Alexander Benedict Cummings and two officials of this Alternative National Congress (ANC) of all two criminal charges.
This is as the result of the Supreme Court’s June 3, 2022 judgment which moots the entire criminal charges against the defendants.
The judgment of the honorable court giving legitimacy to the former ruling establishment to feed a candidate of their choice in the pending special senatorial by-election in Lofa makes it difficult for the state to continue with its decision to prosecute the ANC steward since in fact, no one had sustained any injuries as the result of said instrument (CPP framework documents).
The Supreme Court, consistent with its review and interpretative powers, has accordingly declared section 8.5(2) of the CPP Framework document, although not a legislative enactment, illegal and void ab initio.
Stating reasons for Government’s action to drop all criminal charges against the ANC officials, Sayma Syrenius Cephus noted that the obvious victim in this case is the Republic of Liberia and the only injury the Republic has suffered, is Cummings’ alleged blatant attempt, although never materialized, to outflank the rest of the other constituent political parties and thereby create a state of public unrest, chaos and pandemonium in a seemingly egoistic and infantile misdemeanor to undermine the true competitive character and nature of modern Liberian democracy which calls for frank and brutal exchanges of debates of issues, of ideas without violence.
Cllr. Cephus indicated that the extent of 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.
“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 indicated.
Cllr. Cephus claimed the excitement and the willpower to vigorously prosecute the Cummings’ case and ensure that justice, whether “CONVICTION or ACQUITTAL” is achieved, have strangely fallen on ice, therefore, he is constrained to highlight the compelling need of calling a spade a spade, 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.
He holds that defendant Cummings and his disciples actually forged the CPP Framework document to the detriment of the other three constituent political parties by allegedly inserting the word “withdrawal” and deleting the word “resign” which was contained in the original framework document of May 19, 2020, which is a conduct threatens or has the potential to threaten public order and the rule of law.
“We answer yes, in part, because there’s compelling evidence to prove that the CPP framework document was forged. He added, “The fraudulent conduct is patently shown in a number of articles of the CPP framework document.”
Cephus says, he fails to see how a constituent political party or its political leader has been directly or indirectly injured or harmed or has been deprived of any legal rights to put forth or become a presidential candidate in 2023 after leaving the CPP.
“Aware of what could have become a surging political inferno that was developing within the leadership of the CPP, and fearing the attending consequences, the Republic of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice had to act, and did act, and shall decisively apply the law for public safety and order where necessary, now or in the future, to avert any public unrest and restore sanity to all political parties freely exercising their democratic rights no matter whose interest is involved.”
The Republic of Liberia contends further that injury in any contractual agreement is considered as any harm that a person suffers physically or psychologically as a consequence of the acts or omission of another.
According to him, it is therefore difficult if not absolutely inconceivable for me to actually conjecture or to arrive at any obvious conclusion, the actual damage to, if any, that a constituent political party or its political leader has suffered having already left the CPP on account of a disputed or fraudulent framework document filed with the NEC by Alexander B. Cummings and his disciples.
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, Cephus asserted.
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.
“That being the law extant, it is our considered opinion to terminate this cause of action and herewith enter a Nolle Prosequi in favor of the defendants Alexander B. Cummings, Senator Daniel Netaahn and Aloysius Weah Toe, but without prejudice to the state, meaning the Republic of Liberia does reserve right to re-file where necessary.”