By Diana Omueza
The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), a global human rights group, says Nigeria and Nigerians remain spectacular in Africa.
Dr Isidore Ngueuleu, Senior Human Rights Adviser, Africa, OMCT, spoke on Friday in Abuja at the end of a week-long stakeholders engagement on the Convention Against Torture (CAT).
The meeting, which focused on torture, was organised by Cleen Foundation, in collaboration with Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), with the support of OMCT.
Ngueuleu said that Nigeria has a spectacular image at the global scene for its industrious nature, especially in football, in producing world class lawyers and renowned doctors, amongst others.
“Nigeria is a spectacular state in Africa. Its people are outstanding in all spheres across the globe.
“The country has produced seasoned lawyers, outstanding doctors, great footballers, academicians and many more who are doing remarkably well around the globe.
“It stands tall in Africa and champions most positive courses on the continent.
“All these put the country at a very advantageous and laudable position both locally, within Africa and around the globe,” he said.
He, however, said that it needed to make more efforts in implementing key enacted laws that would help sustain its spectacular image.
He said that the government needed to effectively implement laws that promote human rights and dignity, especially laws that address effective exercise of the rule of law and others.
“Nigerian government must strive to promote laws such as the Anti-Torture Act 2017 and other laws that would put an end to all forms of inhumane and degrading acts that may mar the country’s image at the global scene.
“It must strive to enforce its Discrimination Against Persons with Disability Act 2018, the law on Violence Against Persons Prohibition (VAPP) Act and others.
“This would give it an edge over other African nations in the area of humanitarian service,” he said.
He lauded the government on its progress in fighting against police brutality and trafficking in persons, through the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in 2020.
He also commended the government on its efforts in evacuating its citizens from crisis states across the world.
This, he said, showed that the government was sensitive to public opinions and global recommendations on building a safe nation for its citizens.
Ngueelue, however, said that it needed to put in more efforts in its plans and policies to completely eradicate certain ills of the society and on the administration of criminal justice.
According to him, effective administration of justice will safeguard the nation`s image and status both nationally and internationally.
He urged the government to comply with its obligation to the Convention Against Torture (CAT) by sending its report to the UN Committee, in accordance with Article 19 of the Convention Against Torture Treaty.
The CAT is a treaty that is committed to ending torture, inhumane and degrading treatment of people.
Nigeria ratified the treaty in 2001. (NAN)