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Crime & PunishmentGeneralLiberia news

AFL Commandant exonerated of rape charge

By Winston W. Parley

The Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) says authorities of the Ministry of Justice have exonerated AFL Commandant Lieutenant Colonel Nyankun E. Williams from the allegation of rape levied against him by AFL Sergeant Obento Roberts, following months of separate investigations both by the military and the police here.

Liberia’s Army Chief of Staff Maj./Gen. Prince Charles Johnson, III, announced at a press conference in Monrovia Tuesday, 10 August 2021 that the Ministry of Justice has transmitted the findings of the investigation into the rape allegation to the Ministry of National Defense.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the Press, I seize this opportunity to inform you that the Ministry of Justice has exonerated LT. COL. Nyankun E. Williams from the allegation of rape levied against by Sgt. Obento Roberts,” Gen. Johnson said.

On 26 April this year, Sgt. Roberts, personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia who is presently serving the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions in Mali, formally complained Lt. Williams to the AFL Headquarters in Monrovia, accusing the latter of having sexual intercourse with his (Roberts’) 16 years old daughter. 

But following separate investigations by the military and police, Gen. Johnson explained that on 15 July 2021, the Women and Children Protection Section (WACPS) of the Liberia National Police (LNP) turned over its investigative report to the Ministry of Justice, exonerating the accused. 

He noted that the report states, “That all the statements recorded from witnesses during the investigation lack corroboration to link suspect Nyankun E. Williams to the commission of the crime RAPE.”

From facts and circumstances established during the investigation, Gen. Johnson said WACPS recommended that suspect Williams is exonerated from the allegation of rape levied against him by Sgt. Roberts on grounds of lack of evidence to link him to the commission of the crime.

Gen. Johnson boasted that the AFL remains a “FORCE FOR GOOD,” upholding professionalism and discipline in line with the Constitution of the Republic of Liberia, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and the National Defense Act of 2008. 

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“We appreciate the support from all our counterparts, especially the Liberian National Police during the period of this investigation,” he said.

Following the receipt of the complainant’s communication on 28 April 2021, Gen. Johnson said the Military Police Unit which is the investigative unit of the Armed Forces of Liberia was instructed to conduct an immediate investigation into the allegation levied against Lt. Williams. 

He continued that the findings of the investigation were turned over to the Minister of National Defense and later forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, saying the Ministry of National Defense has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Justice for handling such matters.

He said the Memorandum of Understanding states “That any service member who is suspected or accused of committing serious offense or offenses against civilians, shall be turned over to the Ministry of Justice for investigation and prosecution in line with Article II of the MoU.”https://thenewdawnliberia.com/afl-transfers-rape-probe-findings-to-defense-minister/

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The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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