Army Chief of Staff Major/General Prince C. Johnson, has disclosed that a soldier of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), Lieutenant Colonel Nyankun E. Williams, accused of raping a 16-year-old girl, has been exonerated.
Addressing a sparsely parked press conference Monday, Major/General Johnson disclosed that Lieutenant Colonel Williams has been acquitted by the Ministry of Justice following its investigative report regarding the rape allegation brought against the senior officer of the AFL.
On April 26, 2021, Chief of Staff Johnson recalled, Sergeant Obento Roberts, an AFL personnel currently serving the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions in Mali, formally complained Lieutenant Colonel Williams to the Headquarters of the Armed Forces of Liberia about allegedly having sexual intercourse with his (Sergeant Roberts’) 16 years old daughter.
According to the Chief of Staff, the complainant’s communication was received on April 28, 2021, and that following the receipt of the complainant’s communication, the Military Police Unit which is the investigative unit of the AFL was instructed to conduct an immediate investigation into the allegation levied against Lieutenant Colonel Williams.
He stated that the findings of the investigation were turned over to the Minister of National Defense and later forwarded to the Ministry of Justice, noting that the Ministry of National Defense has a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Justice for handling such matters.
Quoting the MoU, Major/General Johnson said 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.
Additionally, Chief of Staff Johnson disclosed that on July 15, 2021, the Women and Children Protection Section of the Liberia National Police turned over its investigative report on the alleged rape case, to the Ministry of Justice, indicating 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.”
“Therefore, from facts and circumstances established during the investigation, the Women and Children Protection section of the Liberian National Police recommended that Suspect Lt. COL. Nyankun E. Williams is exonerated from the allegation of rape levied against him by Sgt. Obento Roberts on grounds of lack of evidence to link suspect Williams to the commission of the crime RAPE.” Chief of Staff Johnson emphasized.
He then informed that press conference that he was seizing the opportunity to inform the public via the media that the Ministry of Justice has exonerated LT. COL. Nyankun E. Williams from the allegation of rape levied against by Sgt. Obento Roberts.
“The Ministry of Justice has transmitted the findings of the investigation into an allegation of rape involving Lieutenant Colonel Nyankun E. Williams to the Ministry of National Defense, he said, adding, “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.”