Liberia: E-Mansion Deputy Chief of Protocol Gets 5 Yrs for Aggravated Assault; Attacks Journalist at Temple of Justice

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Monrovia – The grounds of the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, were a spectacle of unrest Tuesday, June 28, when Deputy Chief of Protocols at the Executive Mansion, Cleopatra Cummings, and an accomplice attacked journalists covering the Judiciary at their office, just a few minutes after she was sentenced to five-year imprisonment by Criminal Court “A” on accounts of being guilty of aggravated assault.

A video in the possession of FrontPage Africa shows Defendant Cummings attacking Journalists at the Judicial Reporters Office, right after her sentence was announced.

Criminal Court “A” sentenced President George Manneh Weah’s Deputy Protocol Officer, Cummings to Five-year imprisonment, after being found unanimously guilty by a 12-man panel jury for aggravated assault meted against a Teacher-Assistant at the GIG International School in Barnesville, Madam Grace Wah.

Criminal Court “A” Judge Roosevelt Willie in his ruling against Ms. Cummings, cited  Section 2.0 of the Civil Procedure Law of Liberia, which among other things noted that “Aggravated Assault” occurred if a person causes bodily injury knowingly or unknowingly and that the fact the Defendant Cummings admitted to such act made her guilty for committing such crime.

The five-year is the maximum jail sentencing period for the crime of aggravated assault, but two of Ms. Cummings sentencing periods were however suspended by Judge Willie on grounds that the pre-sentencing trial shows that she had no criminal record.

This means, that Ms. Cummings is expected to serve three-year in jail, but Defense Lawyers however took an exception to the verdict, notifying them that they will seek an appeal at the Supreme Court.

Victim Wah had complained to the court that Defendant Cummings used a razor blade to injure her face and left eye.

On March 18, 2022, Cummings was turned over to Criminal Court “A” by Cllr. Sayma  Syrenius Cephus, Solicitor General of Liberia for prosecution over the crime of aggravated assault.

Based on defendant Cummings’ assignment ground, the Court earlier found it difficult to arrest her but Judge Willie of Court “A” wrote a communication to the Chief Prosecutor Cllr. Cephus to help arrest Cleopatra to be brought under the court jurisdiction.

It can be recalled that defendant Cummings reportedly slashed 36-year-old Teacher Wah on February 24, with razor blades after a brief argument.

The wound inflicted on Miss Wah’s face and beneath her eye resulted in 14 stitches and was asked by nurses to seek treatment.

In the wake of Judge Willie dropping two of her five years sentences,  FrontPageAfrica has meanwhile gathered that Madam Cummings has a history of physically attacking her neighbors. In October 2015, while also serving as a senior protocol officer to former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, she was involved in a brutal fistfight with a community woman identified as Mafata Dukuly.

The fighting led to severe physical bodily injuries on Mafata, which her husband, Yayah Y. Dukuly, a former NPA worker under the late Chairman Gyudi Bryant, described as unaccepted and a breach of the laws of Liberia.

“This woman has been terrorizing us in this community. Everyone complains about her. She jumped over her fence and ran over 100 feet to attack my wife in my yard and caused her these injuries,” Mr. Dukuly, also a former executive mansion photographer during the regime of late President Samuel K. Doe, told reporters at the time of the incident.

A neighbor in an apartment separating Cleopatra from the Dukulys confirmed the incident as well. “I did everything I could to stop her but no success. I saw her jump over her fence, sweating and adamant to fight.

Look at her barefoot marks here in the sand. Her mother came struggling to stop her but she insisted to fight the woman who was busy washing her dirty clothes. All I did was just sit down there and cry. She could kill her. The woman was not prepared. She was bending down washing – not even looking. She brought her housemaids to join the fright and they joined,” she said.

On June 21, a 12-man jury of Criminal Court “A” unanimously found defendant Cleopatra Cummings, Deputy Protocol Officer assigned at the Executive Mansion, guilty in an aggravated assault case in which she seriously wounded victim Grace Weah last 2021 in Gardnersville community.

However, during the pre-sentencing trial, two oft of the 10 persons that were consulted about Madam Cummings’ attitudes towards others,  spoke positively, while the remaining eight branded her as one who always attacked others.

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