Liberia: CPP Leadership Mum on Alleged Framework Tampering Investigative Report; Says Lawyers Will Have to Review First

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Monrovia – In the wake of mounting public debate and uncertainty regarding two versions of the findings of an investigation into allegations that the controversial Framework document of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP), yet to be released, but lingering in the corridors of the public domain, the head of the  opposition CPP, Senator Nyonblee Karnga Lawrence, says the official final document has been completed and is now being forwarded to lawyers for review before it can be released officially.

“Our committee presented the report today, we received the report, we reviewed it and so we decided to send the final report to our CPP lawyers for verification; so, we are not going to report on that until the verification is done,” Senator Karnga-Lawrence told FrontPageAfrica on Wednesday.

Senator Karnga-Lawrence made the statement on Wednesday when the leaders of the CPP met at Bella Cassa Hotel in Sinkor to review the investigative report.

The political leaders of the constituent members of the CPP turned down granting the press interview.

However, FrontPageAfrica, obtained a copy of the Final Report which we have been able to confirm to be the original final version submitted to the CPP leadership on Wednesday.

Prior to the release of the original final report, a document, which FrontPageAfrica later found out was doctored circulated in the public through social media, largely indicated that the Framework Agreement was grossly altered.

But the original copy in the possession of FrontPageAfrica was unable to point out any significant alteration to the Framework Document, especially as alleged by the Political Leader of the All Liberian Party (ALP), Mr. Benoni Urey, except for structural changes in the amended copy of the Document.

The Allegation

In his complaint to the Chairman of the CPP, Mr. Urey alleged that high-ranking members of the CPP altered the Framework of the political body.

Mr. Benoni Urey failed to mention the names of those he believes altered the framework, neither did he mention which part of the framework has been tampered with.

In the August 18, 2021 communication to the chair of the CPP, Mr. Urey stated that his allegation stemmed from information gathered from impeccable sources and its validity cannot be doubted. 

He alleged, “Madam Chair, this letter essentially seeks to inform you that the All Liberian Party (ALP) has reliably learned that certain portions and clauses within the organic framework document of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) have been dubiously, viciously, and purposefully altered allegedly by some nefarious individuals within the hierarchy of the CPP – and replaced by ‘Alien Clauses’ to engender ulterior motives.” 

He added, “While the ALP would not cast aspersions and make fast conclusions now, however, the unimpeachable sources from which we gathered this information, we can by no means possible doubt its validity. We are also cautioned not to take this information for granted because if such subversive maneuvering is not decisively foiled and dismissed, the CPP must brace for a fate of fatal consequences. It is no gainsaying that such a despicable and woeful act, if permitted to happen, will spell upon the CPP a brazen doom.”

Mr. Urey then urged Senator Karnga-Lawrence to launch and investigation into what he termed as “a potential looming danger that could derail the CPP”.

The Investigation

The Investigation Committee comprising J.S.B. Theodore Momo, Jr., National Chairman, ALP; Augustine Fredricks, Vice Chairman for Inter-Party and NEC Affairs, Liberty Party; Atty. J. Cole Bangalu, Vice Chair for Inter-Party and NEC Affairs, Unity Party; Cllr. Yafar Baikpah, ANC; and Mr. Mohammed Ali, Secretary General, Unity Party.

From the report obtained by FrontPageAfrica, it is observed that the investigative committee reviewed the original Framework document first signed on May 19, 2020 and after the conclusion of the validation process on April 25, 2020; an amended copy that resulted from the lawyers’ review and dated April 25, 2020 and the copy of the May 19, 2020 was filed with the National Elections Commission (NEC) on July 14, 2020.

FrontPageAfrica observed that while there were content and structural changes in the Lawyers Amendment, there are only structural changes and no content changes in the copy filed with the NEC.

All provisions including Definitions, Headquarter, Party Membership, Withdrawal clause, National Executive Committee, Leadership of Advisory Council, Communication, Eligibility, Nomination, Dispute Resolution, Timeframe/Duration are all the same in the Filed Copy as it is in the Amendment Copy.

There were no content/provision changes made in the document filed by the ANC and that the Filed copy was the same content as the Amended copy done by the lawyers.

Multiple sources told FrontPageAfrica late Tuesday that a the four parties came to an agreement that a statement supporting the release of the final report should have been put out accompanying the release of the report to the public.

However, FPA gathered that the members of the investigative team did not consult the lawyers who reportedly made structural adjustments to the documents.

Liberty Party’s Chairman Musa Bility and Mr. Cummings, according to sources, insisted that the lawyers be consulted before the release of the official final  document.

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