NEC Boss Submits ‘Exact’ Copy Of CPP’s Framework Document Instead Of Original

By: Rachel Saykiamien

The  National Elections Commission Chairperson, Davidetta Browne Lansanah has submitted to the Monrovia City Court what she claimed is the exact copy of the Collaborating Framework Document filed with NEC.

In her testimony when asked if the document presented to the court was the original she said the document is the exact copy that was filed to NEC by the collaborating political parties.

Prosecution however observed errors in the dates of filing and notarization of the original framework document which Carry the signatures of Aloysious Toe as Secretary and Senator Daniel Naathan as Chairman of the CPP instead of Alexander Cummings signature who was the than chairman at the time of filing the disputed document.

The cover letter on the document presented by the witness carry the date, July 10, 2020 while the notarization date is July 14, 2020, four days after the framework document was filed. But when Madam Brown-Lansanah was asked, she responded by saying ” All political parties, Alliances and coalitions are required to submit their framework documents to the NEC”

Based on the errors noticed by prosecution, the NEC boss was questioned if she was aware of the chairmanship of Daniel Nathan, she responded ” the NEC receives documents from all political Parties”

The prosecution counsel contended after perusing the document that the document presented by the subpoenaed witness in court was a photocopy and not an original copy as expected.

As a result of their observation, Madam Brown-Lansanah was  asked by prosecution if the NEC accepts photocopied documents from political parties and alliances in the instant case as observed by prosecution. She responded saying ” the National Elections Commission receives documents from all political parties, all Alliances and all Collaborating political parties”.

Prosecution says the witness was unresponsive and further asked the NEC boss at which time she stated: ” I can not speak to the issue as it is before the supreme court for determination”,

It can be recalled on Monday, May 2, Magistrate Jomah Jallah of the Monrovia City Court  ordered a Subpoena Duces Tecum on NEC chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah to appear on Wednesday May 4, to produce the original framework document of the CPP.

Judge Jallah’s decision was as result of an application filed  by  prosecution lawyers  to subpoena  NEC Political Officer Ignatius Weah who didn’t  appear in court after being subpoenaed twice to produce the original copy of the CPP’S framework document, which the former vice president and others are to testify to in the ongoing trial.

The NEC boss however came with a document which she said is the exact copy she received from the Collaborating Political Parties dated July 10, 2022 and notarized four days later.

Prosecution requested that the document presented by the subpoenaed witness remain in their possession in order for it to be testified to by Amb. Joseph Boakai, Mo Ali and others in the case,  which was granted by Magistrate Jomah Jallah.

During Prosecution request to mark and  admit the document in court, defense  counsel made no objection but when it was agreed upon that the document be  marked and  used by prosecutors in the case, Aloysious Toe could be seen frowning at defense lawyers for not making any objections to the request.

Toe who is the Secretary general as stated in the marked document was moving back and forth from his seat to lawyers representing their case as he is one of the three defendants in the ongoing trial.

However, due to commotion and arguments from both sides including a lawyer representing NEC boss as to who will keep the document marked by the court, the defense counsel  pleaded with Magistrate Jallah to keep the document which he agreed in order to lay the matter to rest,   as observed by KNEWS judicial reporter.

The Lawyer representing  NEC boss also noted that the document is the only copy the institution has in its  possession for the Collaborating political parties, and as such it should be kept with precaution.

Magistrate Jallah accepted prosecution submission to used the document on grounds that it is the instrument of the crime meant to be used in the trial after which it will be turned over to NEC.

So far, there are currently two documents in the possession of the court. The ‘Exact copy’ presented by Davidetta Browne Lansanah and that of the photocopy of a document attested to as the original framework document. Both was marked and admitted to be used in the hearing.

At the same time, during  the hearing, when the National  Elections Commission chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah was on the witness stand,  the former Chief Justice of Liberia, Gloria Musa Scott who is one of the eleventh prosecuting lawyers in the ongoing trial, stated that prosecution having more lawyers on the case means that the Republic is at stake.

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