ov’t Demands Cummings Passport

By: R. Joyclyn Wea

MONROVIA-The Government of Liberia through its team of prosecutors headed by Counsel Sayma Cephus is demanding Alexander Cummings passport containing his American visa from the recent trip to America.

On March 11, 2022, Alexander Cummings was granted voluntary leave by the court to travel to America to see his sick mother, but with condition that he submits few documents to the state through the court including Airline Ticket, dates of travel and place of travel amongst others excluding the passport and visa.

Upon Cummings’ returns, the prosecution on April 1, 2022 filed a bill of information before Magistrate Jorma Jallah seeking to have Cummings to turnover his passport containing the American visa from the recent travel.

The government’s lawyers say they do not believed that the Alternative National Congress political leader did go to the United States upon being granted the brief voluntary absence by Monrovia City Court which was subsequently upheld by Circuit Court (Criminal Court “A”).

Alexander Cummings and two others officials of the ANC are indicted for forgery and criminal conspiracy and are facing criminal prosecution having allegedly tampered with the CPP framework document of May 19, 2020.

Arguing the bill of information Monday, April 4, 2022, Liberia’s Solicitor General who is heading the team of prosecutors in this case, told the court that the only way to authenticate whether Cummings actually went to the United States is to have Cummings surrendered his passport containing the American visa from said trip to the court because as it is, they do not trust him.

“Everything we asked this man for we can’t get it. He cannot give us the CPP Framework document; he can’t give us his passport too? Why it’s so difficult for this man to bring the passport if he knows that he actually traveled to the US,” Cephus wondered.

Though the passport was not inclusive of the documents, Cummings was required to adduce to the court prior to his departure or upon his returned, prosecution now sees it as important on grounds that the airline ticket alone is not enough to prove that Cummings did actually go to the U.S.

Some legal minds say the intent of the prosecution is to open up another issue that for us to establish whether Cummings holds an American citizenship.

In resisting government’s bill of information, one of the lawyers for the defendants, Abraham Sallie senses there is an internal motive for which government’s lawyers are requesting for Cummings’ passport.

According to Cllr. Sallie, this was not in the request made by prosecution prior to the court granting Cummings brief absence to go and see his ill mother in the United States hence; it shows that prosecution is being remotely controlled.

Defense counsel holds that requesting for such document now shows that someone is being remoted and that there is no law that requests a defendant on brief voluntary absence, to provide prove of illness or travel as the state is demanding.

“You have RIA and Immigration under your control; if you want to know whether the man actually travel or not go there, they will tell you,” Cllr. Sallie told prosecution.

He contended that prosecution does not have to trust whether or not his client did go to the U.S because there is no obligation saying, “nobody should use this court to gain political revenge.”

 

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