National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in partnership with the Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errant (CURE) organisation has called on the federal government to implement the Anti-Torture law in order to stop the infringement of human rights by the law enforcement agencies on citizens and criminal suspects.
Speaking today in Abuja while training law enforcement personnel on the new Anti-Torture Law Act 2017, the Executive Director of CURE, Sylvester Uhaa said the implementation of the law will go a long way to protect the dignity of humanity and stop law enforcers from torturing criminal suspects.
According to him, Nigeria’s image has been damaged because people have seen Nigeria as a country who do not obey laws and for treating people barbaric against the law.
He said torture was not an option to get the truth from suspected criminals hence law enforcers should apply intelligence while seeking the truth of a case rather than torture.
One of the officers representing the Nigerian Police Force pleaded to the government to train and retrain the officers as some of them do not even know that they were not supposed to apply torture while investigating a case.
Another Police Officer said most times, top officers and politicians who have interest in the criminal case are the ones who give orders to torture the suspect and get him to either say the truth or accept an offence he never committed.
A female officer representing the Nigerian Security Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) said it was unfortunate that the law enforcement agencies do not have adequate facilities to carry out proper investigations hence the lack of a proper data system in the country was another factor that have stalled proper investigating.
On her part, Acting Executive Secretary, NHRC, Mrs Oti Ovrawah said there were concerns over the issue of torture in Nigeria and all over the world as the case of torture represents some of the grave human rights violations witnessed in recent times hence it was a gross violation of human rights to the dignity of the human persons and “it is totally unacceptable.”
She said the aim of the training was to create awareness on the illegality of the use of torture as a means of investigation and extracting information from persons.