Nigeria enacted anti-torture law to punish errant officers- Jeddi-Agba

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By Ebere Agozie

Nigeria has enacted the anti-torture act to prohibit and punish acts of torture committed by public officers.

Mrs Beatrice Jeddy-Agba, the Solicitor-General of the Federation made this known at the sensitization and advocacy session for Law Enforcement Agencies, MDAs and relevant stakeholders. on United Nations Convention Against Torture (UNCAT) on Wednesday in Abuja.

“The definition of torture under the relevant legal frameworks pertains to acts committed by public officials, particularly Law Enforcement, which inflicts pain or suffering, whether mental or physical on individuals in their custody.

“ Therefore, the Federal Government prioritises initiatives aimed at preventing torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment,’’ she said.

She said the government and stakeholders had the inherent responsibility to support measures aimed at unequivocally rooting out torture in Nigeria, in line with UNCAT and OPCAT.

“We are currently reviewing the Anti-Torture Act and Regulations to expand the definition of torture and improve mechanisms to discourage and eradicate torture in places of detention.

“These places include any deprivation of liberty in Nigeria like the police stations, prisons and other detention facilities, psychiatric hospitals, and any other places where persons are not permitted to leave at their own will.

“It is not enough to punish perpetrators for committing acts of torture, the government also has the responsibility to ensure restitution and rehabilitation of victims of torture’’.

She encouraged participants to work as champions of the federal government’s policy against torture, shun the use of torture against citizens and institute anti-torture measures.

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“I want you to demonstrate commitment and dedication towards eliminating torture by collaborating and cooperating to speak with one voice against the perpetrators of torture, and for all who suffer at their hands, at your various institutions.

She said the programme would focus on strategic interaction between stakeholders to address concerns and challenges associated with implementing anti-torture measures in compliance with international obligations.

“This sensitization event was initiated in fulfilment of the mandate of the committee and the federal ministry of justice, as part of measures to eradicate the use of torture by public officials,’’ she stressed. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Sadiya Hamza

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