Monrovia – Mr. Nathaniel F. McGill, Liberia’s Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, has described as blackmail text messages reportedly from the offices of US Congressman Chris Smith and the former Chief Prosecutor of the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, Mr. Alan White.
In an interview with FrontPageAfrica, the Minister of State denied having interest in the case involving Mr. Alexander B. Cummings, the Standard Bearer of the opposition Alternative National Congress (ANC), on charges of forgery and criminal conspiracy, filed by his colleague in the opposition, Mr. Benoni W. Urey.
“I am not involved in Mr. Alexander Cummings’ case. Unfortunately, I received a text message purported to be from Mr. Allan White and Chris Smith, threatening me, the Solicitor General, the Judge of the Magisterial Court, Mr. Urey and his daughter.
“When I got the message, I shared with those involved which include Urey; and recently there has been rumors that Allan White and Chris Smith are working for Cummings so they are threatening that we are involved.”
Mr. McGill said the current case is a popular case that has been in the public for over three months amongst the four collaborating political parties. “The message was sent two days ago. I was shocked and I laughed about it; so, I sent it to Urey and told him Allan White says he is coming for us.”
“What is interesting is Liberians are not condemning the fact that foreigners are threatening the judge of a court. No judge in the US can be threatened; our responsibility is that Cummings goes to court and gets a fair trial. Government has no side in this case. It is premature for anyone to suggest that Cummings is guilty; these are allegations.
“What people don’t understand is that people in the opposition are all our friends. I am not a bad guy; the only issue people have with me is that I always protect my side. I protect President George Weah.
“The government is not working for ALP; we are working with ALP. Let me clarify that I am not involved in the case; there is no plan by government to ban Cummings because he has violated no law to be stopped. It is an internal issue even though it has a criminal aspect.”
Information Minister’s Early Response
When Cummings alleged the government’s interference, the Minister of Information was quick to debunk the allegations. He told FrontPageAfrica: “The Liberian Government is focused on continuing its efforts at delivering on the national development agendas and doesn’t have interest in the petit and divisive internal political arrangements of the CPP.”
Information Minister Ledgerhood Rennie went on to say further, “It is common public knowledge that the real reason for the disgraceful commotion within the CPP is simply because of individual desperation for political power.”
However, leaks from the Council of Patriots’ (COP) WhatsApp chatroom have exposed McGill and the government’s alleged interference with the case.
The leaked message reads, “Further to our conversation the other day, I have made some inquiries. The prosecution of Alexander Cummings on what appears to be trumped up charges has not been well-received. There is renewed interest in Nathaniel McGill, whom you know from our previous conversations there is a dossier on. Now Benoni Urey and his daughter Telia have also attracted attention, as has the Solicitor General Sayma Syrenius Cephus. I think people are also looking into the judge’s record, to see if he has a history of corruption. Just wanted to let you know, based on our relationship. Other than that, I hope you have a good weekend.”
The leaked message comes amid report that Washington is reportedly contemplating sanctions against some key members of the Weah administration including Solicitor General Cyrennius Cephus and businessman Benoni Urey.