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As Cummings Trial Heats Up: Boakai Fails To Appear

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By: Varney Dukuly

MONROVIA: Joseph Nyuma Boakai, political leader of the former ruling Unity Party (UP), on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, failed to appear before the Monrovia City Court at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia to testify in the ongoing trial involving the political leader of the Alternative National Congress, (ANC), Alexander Benedict Cummings, on criminal charges.

The case which was taken to court by businessman Benoni Urey of the All Liberian Party is centered on allegations of tempering with the main opposition bloc, the Collaborating Political Parties (CPP’s) Framework Document by Alexander Cummings of ANC and two other executives of the party.

The UP political leader, who is also former vice president of Liberia was cited yesterday to appear in court and state clear his knowledge of evidence so far regarding the case.

Some media reports suggest that the writ from the Monrovia City Court which was seeking to subpoena the former Vice President to testify was never received or signed for. This could not be independently confirmed.

Sources within Boakai’s UP hinted that the former Vice President’s office did not receive any court documents because it was closed. He however averred that Boakai will surely address the court through written testimony.

However, state prosecutors pleaded with the Court to grant former VP Boakai deposition privilege, instead of in-person appearance.

However, the Defense Lawyers rejected the State’s request, arguing strongly that the former Vice President should be made to appear because he is currently in the country.

Interestingly, the Judge has reserved ruling on the issue bordering on call for deposition of Mr. Boakai.

The opposition political bloc, CPP, which institutional membership has been embroiled in political wrangling effectively characterized by claims and counter claims relating to its much-heralded framework document, during its formation was regarded as the major opposition bloc, with many believing that it has the ability to democratically dethrone the Weah-led government from state power.

As it stands, there are approximately two political parties within the CPP including a faction of Liberty Party’s embattled Chairman Musa Hassan Bility and the ANC while the former ruling Unity Party of Joseph Boakai and a faction of Liberty Party, which is loyal to incumbent Grand Bassa County Senator, Nyonblee Kangar-Lawrence, have pulled out of the CPP.

The All Liberian Party(ALP), of Businessman Benoni Urey, a member of the CPP, alleges that following his withdrawal from the CPP, the Defendant Cummings “purposely connived, conspired and jointly did alter the framework documents of the CPP, thus deceiving the private prosecutors and the public regarding the content and averment of the said exit from the CPP, which was unresolved but that the said defendants out of deception scrumptiously altered same, thereby making it appear that the party has formerly resolved that issue and others appertaining thereto…”

In response, the ANC Political leader denied the allegations saying, “I and the ANC did not alter the provisions of the framework document. The framework document amended by the legal advisors and approved by all parties is materially, substantially and provisionally the same as the Framework Document filed with the National Elections Commission to register the CPP.” Cummings also blamed the Weah government of conniving with Urey to bring the “false and baseless charges against him.

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