Halt torture to deepen national values, stakeholders urge government

Halt torture to deepen national values, stakeholders urge government

Human rights advocates on Thursday called for observances of the Anti- Torture laws by the relevant authorities to deepen the nation's values for its citizens.

Speaking at a public presentation of Torture Prevention Resource Materials and Documentary in Abuja, they said the call had become necessary given the current global demands for respect for dignity of human person.

The chairman of the occasion, Prof. Tajudeen Akanji of University of Ibadan said the awareness against torture was driven by the current global demands from which Nigeria cannot be left out.

Prof. Akanji called for the building of citizens' capacity to enable them have respect for others and be aware of the relevant laws that prohibit torture. 

On his part the Executive Director of the Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA), Dr. Oju Agomo called for the support of all citizens in helping to  implement the Anti-Torture laws in Nigeria.

Dr. Agomo also called on the relevant authorities to support the necessary mechanism for implementation of the Anti-Torture charter signed by Nigeria government which recognizes inalienable rights of all members of human family.

The Director of Discpline, Police Service Commission (PSC), Tijani Mohammed, reteriated the commission's readines to discipline erring police officers who may contravene the provision of the Anti-Torture Act 2017.

Mohammed, however, urged Nigerians to look beyond institutions spelt out by the Anti-Torture Act as there are many  incidences of rights violations in homes and other informal places. 

On his part, Dr Isaac Amstrong, a  Senior Programmes Officer with the ECOWAS Commission commended the Nigeria government for the enactment of the Anti-Torture Act, urged the security agents to look at other respected and unharmful ways of information collection during investigation.

Dr Armstrong called on all Nigerians to ensure the despicable act of torture is brought to an end. 

The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights (NHRC), Anthony Ojukwu SAN, while emphasising on the need to stamp out the menace of torture said that the sanction should not end with conviction, monetary compensation but  the victim needs to be reformed and rehabilitated.

The UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture is typically observed on June 26. The event, which was a continuation of previous activities, featured materials such as: the Anti-Torture Act of 2017 (in English, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, pidgin, and other languages), UNCA, OPCAT, and a five-part documentary on CAT Recommendation and conclusion observations that were  presentated to the general public.