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 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.
The United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, came into effect on the 26th day of June, 1987, hence 26th of June was set aside to mark the event and is an opportunity for the world to unite in support of hundreds of people around the world who have been victims of torture and those who are still tortured today.
To mark this year’s International Day In Support Of Victims Of Torture, the Legal Defence and Assistance Project- LEDAP, in partnership with the National Committee Against Torture-NCAT and the National Human Rights Commission-NHRC undertook a solidarity and awareness march from the Federal Ministry of Justice to the National Human Rights Commission and back to the Ministry to join in the world press conference given by the Honorable Attorney General of the Federation.
The Honorable Attorney General was represented by the Solicitor General of the Federation, also present were, the Chairman and Vice-chairman of NCAT, the Director of the Directorate of Citizens Rights, the Executive Secretary of NHRC, the National Coordinator of LEDAP and representatives of CSOs.
The highlight of the occasion was the formal handing over of the draft of the Rules and Regulations for the effective implementation of the Anti-torture Act, to the Chairman of the NCAT by the Solicitor General of the Federation.
LEDAP is currently implementing a project aimed at tackling the use of torture and SGBV in policing in Nigeria. In furtherance of the project, LEDAP is undertaking training of police and other law enforcement officials, monitoring and redressing torture and SGBV practices, strengthening civil society and community responses to support victims across the nation, also, the organization has launched social media campaign tagged; #stoptorture9ja which aims at creating awareness on the dangers of torture and mechanisms of redress.