Today In Nigerian History: 25th March

On this day in 2006, Federal Government sent back to Liberia, it’s exiled ex-president and one-time warlord, Charles Taylor, who was wanted for trial on war crimes by a UN-backed court…

A peace agreement had guaranteed Taylor safe exile in Nigeria, but also required that he refrained from influencing Liberian politics. His critics said he disregarded this prohibition. On 4 December, Interpol issued a red notice regarding Taylor, suggesting that countries had a duty to arrest him. Taylor was placed on Interpol’s Most Wanted list, declaring him wanted for crimes against humanity and breaches of the 1949 Geneva Convention, and noting that he should be considered dangerous. Nigeria stated it would not submit to Interpol’s demands, agreeing to deliver Taylor to Liberia only in the event that the President of Liberia requested his return.

On 17 March 2006, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the newly elected President of Liberia, submitted an official request to Nigeria for Taylor’s extradition. This request was granted on 25 March, whereby Nigeria agreed to release Taylor to stand trial in the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL). Nigeria agreed only to release Taylor and not to extradite him, as no extradition treaty existed between the two countries.

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