Viewing cable 06ABUJA491
Title: OBASANJO TAYLOR MEETING CONFIRMED

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
06ABUJA4912006-02-28 16:27:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Abuja
VZCZCXRO5404
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHUJA #0491 0591627
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 281627Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY ABUJA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4760
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 436
C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 000491 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
C O R R E C T E D  C O P Y (ADDED ADDRESSEE-LONDON) 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/28/2012 
TAGS: PREL PGOV NI LI
SUBJECT: OBASANJO TAYLOR MEETING CONFIRMED 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR JOHN CAMPBELL FOR REASONS 1.4 A, B, and D 
 
¶1. (C) Summary.   Ambassador on Feb. 28 in Abuja asked 
Nigerian presidential spokesman Femi Fani Kayode about 
reports the President Met with Charles Taylor on Fberuary 26. 
 The Ambassador said the USG wanted Taylor brought to justice 
and noted Obasanjo's repeated statements that Nigeria would 
extradite Taylor if requested by a democratically elected 
Government of Liberia.  Kayode said he believed the meeting 
did take place and said Nigeria would respond favorably if 
Liberia requested Taylor be turned over.  Economic officer 
spoke with Cross River State Governor Donald Duke, who 
confirmed that Obasanjo, Taylor, and Duke met Feb. 26 in 
Lagos at Taylor's request.  Duke said the former Liberian 
president wanted to learn whether Taylor could continue to 
reside in his current housing in Calabar and that Obasanjo 
said "yes."  End summary. 
 
¶2. (C) Ambassador met Feb. 28 in Abuja with Nigerian 
presidential spokesman Femi Fani Kayode and asked about 
whether press reports about a brief meeting on Feb. 26 with 
former Liberian President Taylor were correct.  Kayode 
confirmed the meeting, but caveated that he had not spoken to 
President Obasanjo about it directly. 
 
¶3. (C) The Ambassador said the USG wanted Charles Taylor 
brought to justice.  He noted President Obasanjo's repeated 
statements that Nigeria would honor a request for extradition 
from the head of a democratically elected Government of 
Liberia, and that new Liberian President Ellen 
Johnson-Sirleaf was coming to Nigeria this weekend.  Kayode 
said Taylor still lived under tight controls in Calabar.  And 
that most importantly, there were firm Government of Nigeria 
(GON) limits on Taylor's involvement with Liberia, well 
understood by Taylor.  Taylor ccould travel from Calabar only 
when taken or escorted by the Cross Rivers Govenor Duke. 
 
¶4. (C) Kayode said the ball was in Johnson-Sirleaf's court. 
Nigeria would respond favorably if Liberia requested Taylor 
be turned over.  Nigeria was bound to live up to its promise. 
 
¶5. (C) Economic officer spoke with Cross River State Governor 
Donald Duke on Feb. 28, shortly after Duke returned to 
Calabar from Lagos.  Duke confirmed that Taylor, Obasanjo, 
and he had met Feb. 26 at Murtala Muhammed International 
Airport in Lagos.  The governor said he was Taylor's "host" 
and implied Duke attended only in this capacity.  Duke said 
the meeting was held at Taylor,s request, and that the 
former Liberian president sought to "try to sort himself out 
locally."  He said Taylor specifically wanted to learn from 
Obasanjo whether Taylor could plan to continue residing in 
his current housing in Calabar.  According to Duke, Obasanjo 
replied "yes."  The Nigerian press reported Feb. 27 that 
Taylor arrived at Lagos airport in a Nigerian presidential 
aircraft, that Taylor's talks with Obasanjo lasted only 30 
minutes, and that Taylor and Duke were to return together to 
Calabar. 
CAMPBELL 
 
CAMPBELL