African Lawyers Get Warrant to Prosecute Charles Taylor
Posted October 1, 2003
A report emanating from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, speaks of an attempt to have former president Charles Taylor prosecuted.
According to the report, the African Bar Association (ABA) has begun moves to prosecute the former Liberian president over alleged crimes against humanity.
Taylor, who is currently on asylum in Nigeria, is alleged to have engaged in the brutal persecution of innocent people of Liberia and launched a genocidal attack in neighboring Guinea and Sierra Leone.
It is also alleged that the former Liberian president recklessly killed a number of Nigerian peacekeepers, journalists, businessmen, women and children.
As a result of these activities, the report added, criminal charges were instituted against him by the UN-backed special war crimes tribunal in Freetown, Sierra Leone, and a warrant of arrest was issued against him. But has so far not been arrested.
According to the ABA Secretary-General, Mr. Femi Falana, the moves to secure Taylor’s arrest, trial and conviction, have started with the procurement of the charges against him. Falana emphasized that ABA had obtained a copy of the warrant of arrest issued against Charles Taylor.
"Already, Taylor has started breaching his terms of his stay here. So, the government is still under pressure to decide one way or the other. But I can assure you that the legal battle will soon be on," Falana said.
ABA had earlier opposed asylum to Taylor on the grounds that he was not a victim of persecution but a persecutor who is not entitled to be granted asylum in Nigeria or any other African country that is signatory to the African Charter on Human and People’s Right.
"Another reason why Taylor cannot enjoy the rights and privileges of an asylum in any part of Nigeria is the legal instrument effect of the warrant recently issued by the International Criminal Court for his arrest and prosecution for war crimes and genocide.