Sterling Centre for Law and Development (SCLD) has stressed the need for the Nigeria Police to step up its internal monitoring activities to reduce and eliminate torture of suspects for confessions or punishment for detainees.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja during a rally to mark the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, its Coordinator, Deji Ajari, said the police should be more open to external monitoring by opening up its facilities to local and international groups who should be allowed to interact with detainees to ascertain if they were being subjected to torture.
According to Ajari, the police, as law enforcement agents in the country and having more contact with members of the public, was saddled with the responsibility of securing lives and property, as well as investigate and resolve crimes.
It also maintains peace in the society, but ironically it is the agency with the most cases of torture reported against it .
“The law criminalises the use of torture and sets in place mechanisms for the prevention, detection and prosecution of cases of torture against Nigerians.
“Implementation of the act will drastically reduce the use of torture in the country. We also commend the police for the steps so far taken to end the use of torture in the country.
“These steps have started to yield results, but more should be done to accelerate the positive returns of the reforms,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) yesterday called on nations to seek ways of reducing torture and improve victims’ access to seek redress.
UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, said torture was unacceptable and unjustified at all times, urging governments and countries to expedite action to eradicate the practice.
He said observing the day on June 26 every year was instituted to acknowledge and honour survivors of torture globally, including those tortured for their political or other views, those caught in the fight against terrorism or those tortured because of their differences.
Civil society organisations (CSOs) also charged security operatives to obey the rule of law and adopt international best practices in the discharge of their duties.
Executive Director, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and Chairman, Board of Amnesty International, Nigeria, Auwal Ibrahim Musa, said despite the country’s laws protecting detained people from torture and mistreatment, severe pains were being inflicted on suspects to force confessions from them.
In a statement, National Coordinator, Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), Chino Obiagwu, urged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Committee Against Torture (NCAT) and CSOs to document incidents of torture and demand prosecution of offenders in line with the provisions of the Anti-Torture Act.
Culled from The Guardian Website.
“LEDAP also uses this medium to call on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Committee Against Torture (NCAT) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to document incidents of torture and demand prosecution of offenders in line with the provisions of the Anti-Torture Act.”
Culled from The Guardian Website
The Legal Defence Assistance Project (LEDAP) has warned managers of the nation’s tertiary institutions against conducting the post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), warning that there’s a subsisting order of the court against the exercise.
LEDAP, in separate letters to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, alongside heads of Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, obtained by The Guardian said the court had declared the conduct of post-UTME in the nation’s tertiary institutions as illegal.
The letter signed by LEDAP’s National Coordinator, Chino Obiagwu read in part: “It has come to our notice that some universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria are currently selling forms for post-UTME examinations and other screening tests for admission into the institutions. Please take notice that there is a subsisting Judgment of the Federal High Court in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/979/15 between LEDAP and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), the Minister of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC), wherein the court held that only JAMB can conduct examinations and give admissions into tertiary institutions by virtue of Section 5 (1) (2) of the agency’s act. Furthermore, the court declared the post-UTME conducted by the institutions as illegal, and further issued a perpetual injunction restraining them from conducting post-UTME or any other form of examination.”
Subsequently, the letter stated that it is a contravention of the order of court for any of the concerned institutions to continue conducting screening tests and demanded that they stop selling these forms and immediately refund all the money collected from candidates.
LEDAP warned that if the erring institutions fail to comply with the court’s directive, it would file a contempt charge against them.
Culled from the Guardian Website.
The Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) join the United Nations and other Human Rights Organizations to commemorate the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. On this auspicious occasion, LEDAP uses this medium to commend the National Assembly of Nigeria for the adoption of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017. The Act criminalizes torture by the police and other law enforcement agencies; therefore we call on all concerned institutions to see to its full implementation. We also call on the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation to develop appropriate guidelines for effective implementation as mandated by sections 10 &12 of the Act.
In Nigeria, there are daily reports of torture of suspects by police, military and other law enforcement agencies. These everyday law enforcement practices are in many cases not in accordance with the constitutional provision prohibiting torture yet the perpetrators are not prosecuted and victims are unable to seek redress. LEDAP also uses this medium to call on the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Committee Against Torture (NCAT) and Civil Society organizations (CSOs) to document incidents of torture and demand prosecution of offenders in line with the provisions of the Anti-Torture Act.
Torture is a criminal offence punishable by law and LEDAP is in partnership with United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) and the National Committee Against Torture (NCAT) to seek ways to reduce incidents of torture and improve access to redress for victims through an ongoing project titled “Community Mobilization Against Torture in Nigeria“.
In observance of the International Day in Support of victims of torture, LEDAP in partnership with the National Committee Against Torture (NCAT) and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is set to launch a torture prevention campaign and an anti-torture awareness walk in the Federal capital territory Abuja, on 26th June, to lend its voice against the crime of torture and also render support to torture victims and survivors all over the world.