Ministry of Justice Investigation Vindicates Lt. Williams From Rape Allegation; Cites Lack of Evidence

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MONROVIA – The Ministry of Justice, following an investigation by the Women and Children Section of the Liberia National Police, has recommended the exoneration of Lt. Col. Nyankun E. Williams of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) from an allegation of rape levied against him by Sgt. Obento Roberts, also personnel of the AFL.

According to the Justice Ministry’s recommendation read by AFL Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Prince C. Johnson, III on Tuesday, Lt. Col.  Williams was exonerated on grounds that accusations brought against him lacked evidence to link the suspect to the commission of rape.

On April 26, 2021, Sergeant Obento Roberts, personnel of the Armed Forces of Liberia who is presently serving the United Nations Peacekeeping Missions in Mali, formally complained Lieutenant Colonel Williams to the headquarters of Armed Forces of Liberia about having sexual intercourse with his 16 years old daughter, a communication that was received on April 28, 2021.

Following the information, the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) High Command relieved Lieutenant Colonel Nyankun E. Williams of his post as Commandant of the Armed Forces Training Command (AFTC) based on the allegation of rape.

The AFL High Command later forwarded Lieutenant Colonel Williams to the Military Police to face investigation.

Major General Johnson said following the receipt of the complainant’s communication 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.

Officer Williams was recalled from the peacekeeping mission to aid the Military Police in the investigation.

The Military Police concluded said investigation on May 10, 2021, and submitted its findings to the AFL High Command for further actions.

Accordingly, the findings of the investigation were turned over to the Minister of National Defense and later forwarded to the Ministry of Justice due to an MOU existing between the Ministry of National Defense and the Ministry of Justice for handling such matters.

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.”

Major Johnson further stated that following a full-scale investigation into the matter, the Women and Children Protection Section turned over its investigative report to the Ministry of Justice on July 15, 2021.

Johnson stated that the report maintained that all the statements recorded from witnesses during the investigation lack corroboration to link Williams to the commission of the crime.

He added that the Ministry of Justice also sent the findings of the investigation into an allegation of rape involving Lieutenant Colonel Nyankun E. Williams to the Ministry of National Defense.

The findings, among other things, stated, the victim’s medical report from the Duport Road Clinic, SGBV One-Stop Center as of April 26,  2021, revealed Vulva/Scrotum which indicates Erythema or abnormal redness seen on the lower side of the Labia Manora, Introitus/Hymen which indicates no evidence of laceration seen on examination, No evidence of discharge seen in Vagina and no evidence of penetration.

As a result, the report from the Ministry of Justice noted that Williams has never had sex with the victim as opposed to the complainant, Obento Roberts assertion in his complaint to Maj. Gen. Johnson III, informing him, that the suspect always influences his daughter with alcohol and money to have sex with her.

Meanwhile, the AFL Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. Johnson has assured the public that the AFL remains committed to upholding professionalism and discipline in line with the constitution of Liberia.

“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,” Maj. Gen. Johnson stressed.

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

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