Liberia: Boakai to Testify Against Cummings in Forgery Case
The Chairman of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) is expected to serve as one of the state witnesses to testify against Alexander Benedict Cummings.
Mr. Cummings is the political leader of one of the constituent parties within the CPP, (the Alternative National Congress, ANC) in an ongoing forgery case at the Monrovia City Court.
The ANC Political Leader was dragged to court by the chairman of the All Liberian Party of businessman Benoni Urey on crimes forgery and criminal conspiracy.
He was accused of conspiring and jointly altering the framework document of the CPP, thus deceiving the private prosecutor and the public regarding the content and averments of the said document specifically a period a party may exist from the CPP which was unrevealed.
Arguing on a motion of ‘SUPENO DU CE TECUM’ intended for cummings to produce the signed framework document in his possession, Liberia’s Solicitor General Sayma Cephus disclosed that Unity Party Joseph Boakai and Senator Nyonblee Karngar Lawrence of Liberty Party will appear during a subsequent hearing into the case, to testified to the crime allegedly committed by Mr. Cummings.
Both Boakai and Nyonblee will testify specifically as to the service of a copy of the framework document submitted to the National Elections Commission by Cummings while serving as chairman of CPP.
According to Cephus, there were five copies of the framework documents signed to be distributed amongst member parties within the CPP following the submission of the document to the national elections commission, but the same was never done by Cummings up to date.
He further noted that it should not be difficult for Mr. Cummings to produce said documents once he has nothing to hide.
The CPP framework document was signed on May 19, 2021, by all four opposition political parties.
Cephus further revealed that the prosecution will also produce Mohammed Ali chairman of the unity party as a rebutter witness to also testify against cummings.
According to him, defense counsels accused Mohammed Ali of distributing the copies to each political party following the submission of the document to the national election commission.
Cephus says he finds it impossible to believe that Mo will distribute said document when even his party (Unity Party) was never served a copy, hence, he sees it fit for Mo to appear and clarify.
Meanwhile, Defense Counsel Abraham Sillah contested against Cummings producing the framework document on grounds that doing so would be prosecuting himself.
According to Cllr. Sillah, the law cited by those not applied to defendants in a criminal matter rather it is only applicable to a civil matter.
Sillah benefited from this provision of the law while serving as a lawyer for one of the defendants in the LD$16 billion cases. He further that the intent of the framer of this provision applies to third-party in possession of documents and instruments relevant or useful to the case and the prosecution is not and cannot benefit from such law.
“Unless in civil proceedings, they cannot be asked the defendant to produce evidence against himself, if you do so, you are shifting the burden of profit on the defendants. They brought their case; they should prove the same. They have evidence that’s why they came to court.”
He indicated that the action of the prosecution to ask the defendant to produce evidence against himself is not only strange, but shows that prosecution lacks evidence to prove their case against his client (Cummings) therefore, such motion should be denied by the court and have the matter proceeded with.