The political drama within the Collaborating Political parties continues to take a dramatic twist day-by- day.
It’s like a rollercoaster- from in-house fighting over who to head the CPP ticket as standard bearer , it shifted to blamed game on the alleged alteration of the opposition alliance frame Work document, and now, the ALP that has since shown readiness to withdraw from the Collaborating Political parties( CPP), has taken Mr. Cummings to Court on criminal charges.
According to the ALP, its decision to leave the CPP derived as a result of a comprehensive review of the party’s participation in the CPP, the uncertainties about the political future of the collaboration, the lack of strong will to implement the findings of the CPP FA Investigative Committee’s findings of the alterations of the CPP’s Framework Agreement, among other issues.
But what provoked the ALP’s court action , despite pronouncement that it’s withdrawing from the CPP?
Well, with that question lingering on the lips of many, Mr. Alexander Cummings, an opposition political leader , and former chairman of the CPP is now a wanted man, following a writ of arrest by the Monrovia City Court.
The ANC political leader, who led the CPP to massive wins in the Midterm Elections against President Weah’s CDC, in December of 2020, was dragged to Court by Mr. Urey on allegations of forgery and criminal conspiracy.
Did the Liberian government actually influence the writ of arrest for Alexander B. Cummings, through Mr . Urey?
Well, Mr. Cummings believes that’s the case, accusing the political leader of the All Liberian Party, Mr. Benoni Urey, as a stooge being used by the government to sow seeds of discord in the opposition bloc by leveling “unfounded” allegations against him.
Urey’s ALP on Monday filed a complaint of forgery and criminal conspiracy with the Monrovia City Court against Mr. Cummings, alleging that its leaders’ signatures were “unlawfully attached” to the alleged altered Framework Document of the CPP filed with the National Elections Commission (NEC) under the chairmanship of Mr. Cummings.
The CPP’s Framework Document was prepared when Mr. Urey was chairman of the CPP.
Speaking on the BBC Focus on Africa on Monday, Mr. Cummings said, while the ALP has the right to withdraw from the CPP, he insisted that the allegations against him are unfounded and political. Cummings further insinuated that there is a government maneuvering within the CPP and Urey is possibly the element being used.
“I think the ALP has decided to leave the CPP which is their right and therefore I don’t understand the basis for these allegations, they’re unfounded and I believe they’re all political. I believe unfortunately, that Mr. Urey is, perhaps, being used by the government because a united opposition makes it difficult for Mr. Weah to replace himself,” he said.
For Mr. Cummings, the legal action against him is a political action to discredit him, but he will remain undeterred in making the case for the Liberian people ahead of the 2023 elections.
“Why will I want to change a document that equally affects me as well? This is why this is baseless, this is political but when we actually receive the writ, as a law-abiding citizen, we will make ourselves available to whatever the processes are as per our lawyers’ recommendation,” he disclosed.
Mr. Urey has somewhat fired back at Mr. Cummings’ assertions that he’s being used by the government.
He told the Voice of America on Monday that the decision to pursue legal action for the alleged forgery and altering of the CPP Framework Document was reached December the 23rd , 2020 Convention by his party.
“The All Liberian Party had a convention and decided that we will withdraw from the CPP and then we will prosecute whosever was involved in forging our signature, altering the document that we participated in that is called the Framework Document and bring them to justice,” he said.
According to Mr. Urey, the ALP went in the collaboration in good faith hoping that they will meet the desires of the Liberian people. He, however, maintained that the document was altered: the signature page was forged, the exit clause was removed and the front page of the document was change.
It can be recalled that after an investigation into the alleged tampering of the Framework Document, the investigative committee’s report were submitted to the CPP lawyers who crafted the Framework Document and revised same for review.
The lawyers in their response stated that they made a number of revisions both in substance and structure and the Framework Document as revised was presented at a meeting convened for that purpose and attended by the leadership of the four political parties.
Their revision, according to them, was based on an invitation from the four parties to review the Framework Document as concluded by the four political parties.
According to the lawyers, the CPP agreed that the Framework Document reflected the will of the four parties to form a collaboration , but wanted to ensure the Framework complied with full legal prescriptions both in terms of substance and structure.
The lawyers, however, stated that they at the time voluntarily agreed to support the process as part of their patriotic commitment to Liberia. “We did so knowing that our contribution will assist in reconciling and engendering an environment for better collaboration and coordination.”
Did the lawyers say the FA document was altered?
In a communication addressed to the CPP former chairman , Senator Nyonblee Karnga-Lawrence, in response to her October 12, 2021 letter, the lawyers said , issues raised upon which they were requested to opine have become the subject or intense internal and external discussions over the past several weeks.
“This has rendered the process overwhelmingly political, thereby marginalizing the efficacy and effect of the Framework Document. Under these circumstances, we find it extremely difficult to advice on the issues presented to us.
Notwithstanding, may we remind you that there are risks associated with the unceasing public engagements on this matter.
Accordingly, we advise that some form of collective restraint is put in place and that the political leaders urgently exert efforts to bring closure to this matter”, the lawyers noted in their communication.
Political pundits believed that the failure by the CPP’s lawyers to take a definite position on the matter has set the stage for another legal rangling and dangling. Below is the writ obtained by Dakpannah 24News, filed by the ALP.
You are hereby commanded to arrest the living bodies of Alexander B. Cummings and others to be identified, defendants and forthwith bring them before the Monrovia City Magisterial Court Temple of Justice to answer to the crime of Forgery and Criminal Conspiracy based upon the oath and complaint of the Republic of Liberia by and thru All Liberian Party by and thru its National Chairman, Theodore Momo, plaintiff in which it is substantially alleged as follows wit
That during the period of May, A.D. 2020 up to and including July, AD. 2020, in the city of Monrovia, Montserrado County, Republic of Liberia, the within named defendant being there and then in violation of section 15.70 of the New Penal Law of Liberia, purposely connived, conspired and jointly did alter the framework documents of the CPP, thus deceiving the private prosecutor and the public regarding the content and averments of the said document specifically the period a party may exit from the CPP, which was unresolved, but that the said defendants out of deception, surreptitiously altered same, thereby making it to appear that the party has formerly resolved that issue and others appertaining thereto.
The alleged act of the defendants being unlawful, wicked, criminal, illegal and intentional is a violation of Section 15.70 of the New Penal Law of Liberia there and then the crimes herein the defendants did to and commit.
In Liberia’s politics , opposition forming alliance can’t be cast in stone for bucket full of reasons.
Self ego and political desperation for power can’t be ruled out as the main reason for opposition alliances collapsing.
It’s no secret that confusion has engulfed the CPP , simply because of individual desperation for political power.
Many are eagerly waiting to see what will be the outcome of the legal suit against Mr. Cummings.