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Torture cases increasing despite anti-torture law –A2J

 A civil society organisation, Access to Justice, has said incidents of torture continues to be on the rise despite the signing into law of the Anti-Torture Act criminalising it since 2017.

The organisation said this at a ‘Capacity Building for Law Enforcement Officers on the Anti-Torture Act and related legislation’ held in Abuja recently.

The event was orgaised by A2J in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission, the British Council and the European Union.

Speaking on behalf A2J, its Project Director, ‘Deji Ajare, said, “It is common knowledge among the citizens that there is a pervasive use of torture by law enforcement agencies, particularly the Nigeria Police Force.

“In 2017, the President signed the Anti-Torture Act. One expected that with the Act, there would be a reduction in torture, but what we have is increasing number of cases of torture.”

He expressed concerns that most of the victims of torture “are young men between the ages of 18 and 35, poor and from vulnerable groups.”

He noted that law enforcement agencies usually tortured suspects “to extract information and ‘confessions’ or as punishment for their alleged offences.”

But he added that experts had established the fact that “most of the time, torture does not bring out the truth.”

He added, “The confessions that are obtained through torture are most of the time lies. You would later find out you would have damaged souls, human beings, when you make them confess to lies.

“What is the point when at the end of the day you get to court and the confessions are thrown out? It does not make sense.”

Ajare called for more funding for the police and more training for their personnel to enhance their investigative skills and discourage them from considering torture of criminal suspects as an option.

Also speaking during the event, the Director of Legal, NHRC, Mr Harry Obe, who was one of the facilitators, said there was no justification for torture by security agents even in the face of provocation.

Bibiyobra: Thursday, 8 October 2020 at 10/08/2020 01:34:00 pm


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