The Embassy of Liberia near Abuja, Nigeria, says its attention has been drawn to media reports based on a statement recently issued by its Minister Counselor for Press and Public Affairs in Monrovia about an alleged rape incident at its compound in Abuja Nigeria.
A release from the Embassy said the alleged rape incident occurred between the children of two diplomatic families residing at the Abuja Mission’s compound in September 2020 but only came to light in mid-April 2021.
The release added that as a Government of Liberia diplomatic Mission, the Embassy wishes to reassure the public of its zero-tolerance to all forms of sexual molestations, gender-based violence, and all forms of discrimination against women and girls.
The Embassy through the release noted that the matter received the full attention and engagement of the Ambassador and his diplomatic staff, while a timely investigation was done from May 19 to 21, 2021, based on an administrative hearing involving all parties, and the report was sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Liberia on May 22, 2021, for its consideration.
The Ministry, in turn, conducted an independent probe of the matter and forwarded its findings to the Ministry of Justice of Liberia, while the Ministry of Justice dispatched the case to the Women and Children Protection Section of the Liberia National Police for investigation, with the understanding that the case was transferred to the Juvenile Court for adjudication.
Meanwhile, the Liberian Embassy said when a matter is in court under the laws of Liberia, it is under judicial consideration and therefore prohibited from public discussion.
The Embassy said it is however constrained to issue a statement, on grounds that its Head of Mission has received a lot of calls from Liberian journalists and many others, who are very concerned about the personal attacks and defamation of his character in the media by the Press Counselor.
The Embassy is therefore appealing to the public to avoid condoning unsubstantiated sentiments and rather listen to the facts of the case based on the rule of law.
The Embassy calls on the Ministry of Information, Cultural Affairs, and Tourism, via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to urgently address the legitimate needs mentioned by its Minister-Counselor that it seconded to the Embassy through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The release furthered that as to the libelous utterances in the media by the Press Counselor against the Head of Mission regarding the alleged rape case, the Embassy wishes to reassure the public that the Ambassador will be available, after the full course of the law on this issue is exhausted, to give his reactions.