Liberia: Cummings Says 'Judiciary Weaponized'

Alexander Cummings of the ANC said "Together, we are stronger. The Liberian people have shown us that they are more willing to trust us if we are together."

The political leader of the Alternative National Congress,  Alexander Cummings, has accused the Liberian Presidency of weaponizing the country's Judiciary into submission and using the courts to suppress and witch hunt opposition politicians for political gains.

Cummings alleged that such undue political influence by the Executive on both the country's Judiciary and the Legislature has rendered them ineffective, making mockery of the governance system in the fair and transparent discharge of their constitutional duties to the citizenry.

"The Court's admission by state prosecutors of prosecutorial misconduct that they inadvertently  extracted evidence crucial to his innocence, and the publized conflicting exchanges between the Solicitor General and the Justice Minister allude to the facts that charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy are bogus and politically orchestrated to thwart his Presidential bid in 2023," Cummings argued. 

The ANC leader, in a statement, added that while he respects the authority of the court by regularly attending court trial, it is also within the purview of his right to hire the two London based international firms to conduct forensic investigation to further establish the facts in the allegation of altering the Collaborating Political Parties CPP framework document.

"Such unlawful acts by state prosecutors intended to delay, baffle and deny justice demand that I seek alternative actions to protect and defend my hard earned reputation," he said. 

Cummings is being prosecuted by the state based on a complaint from businessman and the political leader of the All Liberian Party, Benoni Urey, on grounds that he allegedly fingered and altered the Collaborating Political Parties' framework document and fraudulently attached Urey's signature to the document. 

However, Cummings and his co-defendants, two of his party senior officials, have denied the charges. 

His trial has been postponed by the Monrovia City Court indefinitely, as a result of unruly behavior on the part of supporters of both ANC and  former Vice President Joseph Boakai, a state witness in the criminal trial,    having disrupted the court proceedings. 

The former Vice President’s appearance was in response to subpoenas from the Court, which compel him to appear and testify, to his knowledge, whether the framework document of the Collaborating Political Parties was altered by Cummings, political leader of the Alternative National Congress, and two senior officials of the party — for which they are being prosecuted. 

However, Boakai's testimony could not take place as protesters from both the Unity Party and ANC stormed the premises of the Temple of Justice, where the court is located, early this week, and disrupted the session with battle cry slogans. 

The exchange of taunts and insults were heard from both sides, including chants of "rogue, rogue becoming the order of the day."

Meanwhile, Cummings has disclosed that his trial, which should be legally dispensed within 30 days by the Magisterial Court, has far exceeded the statutory limitations to nearly five months, without making any significant progress.

He also made reference to state prosecutors subpoenaed list of 34 State witnesses.

The ANC political leader said the hiring of the two London based internationally reputable firms to conduct forensic investigation is aimed at further establishing the facts that the charges are unwarranted and only intended to damage his 40 years of hard work and good reputation, earned both locally and internationally.

Last week, Cummings hired a London based internationally reputable law firm, headed by Chiere Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair along with Alaco, a leading business intelligence and investigations firm, based in London and operating globally, to conduct an independent forensic investigation into the CPP framework document alteration accusation.

ANC Political Leader, Mr. Cummings, its National Chairman, Gbarpolu Senator Daniel Naatehn, and Secretary-General, Counsellor Aloysius Toe, are being tried for alleged alterations of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) framework document. 

The three accused ANC stalwarts have adamantly denied the charges and described the protracted trial as bogus and politically motivated.