Court Orders ANC To Show Within 72 Hrs. 2 Copies Of Signed CPP Framework Documents.
MONROVIA Jan. 26 (LINA) – The Monrovia City Court has ordered the Alternative National Congress (ANC) to produce and bring to Court within 72 hours the two copies of the same original signed framework document of May 19, 2020, as of the date of said ruling.
“This Court, therefore, holds and submits that the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination as provided for under Article (h) of the 1986 Constitution does not apply to business records, public documents or political contracts that are normally executed in accordance with the parties own rules and regulation as they may deem fit,” said Judge Jomah Jallah.
He ruled the Respondents are hereby ordered to bring and produce to the Court within 72 hours the two copies of the same original signed framework documents of May 19, 2020, as of the date of the ruling Judge Jallah noted.
On January 18, 2022, the prosecution filed a ten-count written motion for a Subpoena Duces Tecum, contending that the original signed Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) framework documents of May 29, 2020, is in the hands of the respondents and that persistent efforts made up to and including the filing of the motion have fallen on deaf ears.
The prosecution alleged that the defendants have ignored, neglected, and refused to deliver to them copies of the documents contrary to their own internal arrangement.
The Prosecution proffered to the motion a sworn affidavit, denouncing the alleged alterations, expansion, and modifications of specific provisions of the framework document.
The prosecution contended that the filing of the framework document with the National Elections Commission (NEC) was done without the expressed knowledge, participation, and approval of the movant and therefore prays the court to grant the motion and thereby mandate, order, and instruct the respondent to produce the selfsame document, noting that they pray the court to grant said motion.
Defense lawyers prayed the Court to deny and dismiss the prosecution’s motion for Subpoena Duces Tecum, contending that such a request will amount to self-incrimination and will be in gross violation of Article 21(h) of the 1986 Constitution.
Defense lawyers also stated that by filing the motion, the prosecution was now looking for evidence from the respondent already charged for a crime, whose evidence the prosecution must produce beyond all reasonable doubt, to convict the respondents and therefore the court should deny and dismiss the motion as prayed for as if it was never filed.
Following counter-arguments by both parties, Judge Jallah indicated that after analyzing the arguments on both sides, “this court says there are two salient issues that are determinative of the matter and the two issues are as follows:
“Whether or not the CPP framework document of May 19, 2020 is a public document, whether or not a Subpoena Duces Tecum granted to produce copies of the circumstances requiring the defendants will be considered as incriminating and will amount to a violation of defendant’s constitutional rights.
“This Court,” he noted, “says it is an indisputable fact that the respondents are public officials or officials of a political alliance that is freely associated with the Liberian public within the meaning and interpretation of Section 21.3(a) (b) cited inter alia.”
He added: “Further, as a political alliance or an association, the formation of CPP in the mind of this Court, is in consonance with Article 77(a) and Article 78 of the 1986 Constitution.
The Court asserted that the respondents have woefully failed to deny the prosecution argument that the original signed CPP framework document is in their possession, therefore the Court will not be in error to rely on the law extant and the definition provided aforesaid, to sustain prosecution motion and thereby deny and dismiss the resistance thereto and “for this and much other legal authority cited, this Court, therefore, answers in the affirmative.”
The Court further said, that the CPP framework document is a public document not a private document and as such same should be produced before the Court within 72 hours so as to be used in the case.
ANC’s Alexander Cummings has been at the center of a major controversy in which some leaders of the CPP accused him of altering a framework document, which was adopted by the collaboration.
Cummings has since denied the allegations against him claiming that he didn’t alter the document as claimed by his accusers, but cited that he only acted honorably in registering the CPP while acknowledging that the organization has struggled with public distrust and that the looming disagreements have unfortunately spilled into the public.
Cummings, Musa Bility, and six others were placed on prisoner bench for over one hour, following a writ of arrest issued against them.
Meanwhile, the Alternative National Congress is ordered to give or produce two copies of the signed CPP framework document within 72hours.