Liberia: ‘There’s No Original Framework Document Signed May 19, 2020’ – Cummings’ Lawyers Write Judge Jomah Jallah

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MONROVIA – There is no such thing like “Original Framework Document signed on May 19, 2020”, Mr. Alexander Cummings and other co-defendants in the forgery and criminal conspiracy trial have told the Judge Jomah Jallah of the Monrovia City Court who has ordered them to produce the document as requested by the state prosecutors.

Cummings, the political leader of the ANC, Daniel Naathan, the Chairman of the ANC and Aloysius Toe, the Secretary General of the Party were sued by the All Liberian Party (ALP) led by businessman Benoni Urey. Mr. Urey alleges that Cummings had altered some provisions of the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) Framework Document and hence, forged the signatures of the leaders of the ALP and placed same on the ‘altered’ document.

Cummings has vehemently refuted the allegation which has now torn the CPP apart. He says, he believes Mr. Urey is being manipulated by the George Weah-led government.

The CPP comprises the ANC, ALP, Liberty Party and Unity Party.

Ironically, the Mr. Cummings and his party officials are being tried by the government that the CPP sought to remove.

The political leaders of the Unity Party and the Liberty Party are expected to testify against Cummings.

While the ALP withdrew from the CPP days before filing the complaint, the Unity Party, on the other hand which chaired the CPP until Wednesday, also announced its withdrawal.

The Liberty Party is also divided over the matter.

At the top of the prosecution’s list of evidence presented to the court is the ‘Original Framework Document’. However, the prosecution petitioned the court to subpoena the document from Mr. Cummings whom they claim is in possession of the document.

Cummings lawyers’ argument that granting the petition would be tantamount to asking them to produce evidence against themselves was turned down by the court on grounds that the document is a public record and Mr. Cummings should therefore be able and willing to produce it.

An appeal before Criminal Court ‘A’ Judge Roosevelt Willie could not overturn the Monrovia City Court ruling.

However, Cummings, in a communication dated February 14, 2022 informed Judge Jallah that the documents being requested does not exist and therefore, cannot be produced.

In his communication, he stated that first Framework Document signed on May 9, 2020 was individually signed by the political leaders of the four parties via zoom.

His lawyers in a press conference held on Wednesday explained that none of the defendants along with their representatives of the other political parties of the CPP signed, received, or are in possession of any “original signed Framework Document of May 19, 2020”.

“The only May 19, 2020 document we know of was signed symbolically via Zoom with each signing party in a separate location. This document was never actually, physically signed by the parties because before efforts could be advanced to get the wet ink signatures of all the political leaders and chairpersons of all the constituent parties on this document, there emerged irresistible public backlash about the content of the document as evidenced by the attached copy of a May 24, 2020 Frontpageafricaonline publication captioned “Liberia: Controversial Jobs’ Clause Greets Cummings’ Ascendancy as head of Opposition Alliance,” the lawyers indicated.

The document signed separately via zoom soon came under public scrutiny and criticism which necessitated its revision by a team of lawyers – a decision which was reached through a resolution.

The reviewed, revised and amended document was handed to the CPP by the lawyers was presented to the CPP leaders and relevant officers all the parties on June 23, 2020.

According to them, it was the revised document that was approved and signed by the parties and submitted to the National Elections Commission.

FrontPageAfrica has seen a communication from the Unity Party dated July 6, 2020 addressed to the chairman of the National Elections Commission at the time, acknowledging the reviewed and revised Framework Document.

The letter reads:

July 6, 2020

The Chairman

National Elections Commission

9th Street, Sinkor, Monrovia

Dear Hon. Chairman:

On behalf of the National leadership of the Unity Party, we wish to great you very warmly and thank God for your health and work during this national fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic against which a State of Emergency is currently in force in Liberia.

In compliance to the CPP Framework Document signed by the political leaders on May 19, 2020 and subsequently reviewed by the Party’s legal team, the Unity Party would like to submit to your good office a resolution with the party’s NEC members’ names and signatures affixed endorsing decision to form a collaboration named and styled “Collaborating Political Parties (CPP) with three (3) political parties: Liberty Party (LP), Alternative National Congress (ANC) and All Liberian Party (ALP).

Please see attached resolution and documents that was unanimously approved and signed by the National Executive Committee of the Unity Party.

With kind sentiment,

Patrick T. Worzie

Acting National Secretar-General

Approved: Isaac F. Manneh, Sr.

Acting National Chairman

FrontPageAfrica has also obtained a copy of the Unity Party’s Resolution to the NEC and the signature page which showed that the some of its National Executive Committee members signed as late as July 3, several weeks after the revised Framework Document was presented to the CPP leaders by the lawyers.

Senator Conmany Wesseh, for instance, signed on July 3, 2020.

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