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Last Updated: Friday, 12 December, 2003, 17:22 GMT
Nigeria warns off bounty hunters
Charles Taylor
Charles Taylor is in exile in Nigeria
Anyone who tries to kidnap the exiled former Liberian leader will be locked up or even killed, a Nigerian presidential adviser has warned.

Femi Fani Kayode was speaking after a UK-based military firm said it was seeking an investor to fund an operation to seize Charles Taylor.

The US Congress is reported to have set aside $2m as a bounty for Mr Taylor, who is wanted by a war crimes tribunal.

Nigeria has decried the alleged offer, and says it is protecting Mr Taylor.


UK-based Northbridge Services Group said this week it had people waiting to kidnap Mr Taylor in Nigeria but needed funds to pay for the operation.

The company's director said such an operation would be legitimate because Mr Taylor had been indicted by the United Nations-backed war crimes court in Sierra Leone and a warrant for his arrest had been issued by Interpol.

He said his company would "split the profits" with the investor.

[Offering sanctuary to Charles Taylor] was an African solution to an African problem
Femi Fani Kayode
Nigerian presidential adviser
Speaking to the BBC World Service's Focus on Africa programme, Mr Kayode said his government viewed the scheme with "the most profound disgust, and we will not accept or tolerate it".

He said it ignored legal procedure - and he then delivered a dire warning to anyone considering trying to kidnap Mr Taylor.

"They will be apprehended, incarcerated, prosecuted and jailed - and if they resist any attempt to arrest them they will leave Nigeria in their coffin, it's as simple as that," he said.

Mr Kayode said Mr Taylor was in Nigeria because of appeals from the international community trying to stop the bloodshed in Liberia.

"It was an African solution to an African problem," he said.

He said if anything happened to Mr Taylor in Nigeria it would jeopardise the peace process in Liberia.

'Indictee' offer

In November, US President George W Bush signed a bill to provide funds totalling $87.5bn for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But a small part of that budget referred to the provision of $2m reward money for the capture of what it described as an indictee of the Sierra Leone war crimes tribunal - a clear reference to Mr Taylor.

Last month, Nigeria said the offer, assumed to be for Mr Taylor's detention, verged on state-sponsored terrorism.

Taylor appeals war crimes charge
31 Oct 03  |  Africa
Bringing justice to Sierra Leone
17 Jan 02  |  Africa
Taylor 'pulling Liberia strings'
10 Oct 03  |  Africa
Nigeria warns exiled Taylor
17 Sep 03  |  Africa
Nigeria defends Taylor exile
12 Aug 03  |  Africa


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