Liberia: ‘Prosecutors Were Compelled to Drop Charges; There Was No Evidence’ – Cummings Asserts
Monrovia – The political leader of the Alternative National Congress (ANC) Alexander Cummings says the conspiracy to stop him and the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) from their Real Change Movement has failed and he will be a formidable candidate for President in the 2023 presidential election.
Speaking for the first time after the forgery cases was dropped against him and associates, Mr. Cummings said the lawsuit against him was a political witch hunt orchestrated by those who were offended by his call for real change in managing the country accountably.
“Obviously, those who are offended by our call for Real Change in managing our country more accountably were weaponizing an eager and co-conspirator prosecution to dishonor and smear our hard-earned reputation,” Cummings said.
“But truth crushed to earth will rise again. The truth was always on our side, and the truth has always prevailed.”
The CPP, made of Liberia’s top four opposition political parties was touted by many observers and political pundits as a formidable force to unseat the ruling Coalition for Democratic Change (CDC). The claims became more genuine when the CPP scored pretty well in the 2020 Senatorial Election against the CDC; winning majority of the seats that we up for grab.
However, the merger soon descended in the disarray over disagreements in selecting its standard bearer; leading to the breakaway of the All Liberian Party (ALP), Unity Party (UP) and a faction of the Liberty Party led by Senator Nyonblee Karngar-Lawrence.
Then the litigations followed; beginning with a lawsuit filed against Cummings and top ANC’s stalwarts for allegedly inserting a clause within the CPP Framework Document behind the other constituent parties’ political leaders.
The clause, Section 8.5 (2) of the CPP framework document states that: “Constituent Party desiring to withdraw from the CPP shall first exhaust the dispute resolution mechanism stipulated in the framework document. If the Constituent Party which has satisfied the dispute resolution mechanism is not satisfied with the outcome, it shall file a resolution to withdraw from the CPP signed and duly executed by two-thirds (2/3) of the membership of the National Executive Committee, it is being understood, however, that a party withdrawing from the alliance prior to the next presidential, legislative and local elections shall not field candidates in its name”.
While the case was being tried at the Monrovia City Court, the Bility’s faction of the LP and the ANC, invoking Section 8.5 (2) requested that the NEC reject and deny any application from the ALP and UP to field candidates in their names in the Lofa Senatorial Election and any election until the expiry of the 2023 elections, including up to six months.
Following ‘painful’ litigation processes, the Courts handed down their verdicts; first at the Supreme Court, where the High Court ruled in favor of the UP and ALP that that they can field candidates in the Lofa Senatorial Election.
This followed by the Magisterial Court after Liberia’s Solicitor General Cllr. Syrenius Cephus filed a motion to drop all charges against Mr. Cummings and top ANC’s officials including Senator Daniel Naatehn and Atty. Lafayette Gould without prejudice to the State.
The Court then granted his request but did so with prejudice after the ANC’s lawyers appealed that granted SG Cephus’ request to drop the charges without prejudice would amount to the offense of double jeopardy- the act of prosecuting an individual (s) twice for the same crime.
In his first address following the rulings, Mr. Cummings said the real aim of the conspiracy against him and the ANC was to diminish his chances of becoming president.
“The real aim of the conspiracy against us was to keep us entangled in court with a bogus charge over our heads, up to and including, the period of the 2023 Elections.”
Continuing: “Hence, after more than five months of their political persecution, it became difficult to continue their witch-hunt when an independent report forensically exposed the truth and convincingly cleared us of any wrong doing. It must be said that our persecutors did not want to willingly set us free. They were forced by the truth and lack of evidence, after almost six months, to grudgingly surrender.”
He thanked Omnia and Alaco, two top international investigative firms who had earlier stated that the charges brought against Cummings and associates were not substantive.
“Unfortunately, getting to the truth was never an objective for those whose interest was to politically persecute and smear us. Through it all, we have overcome.”