CSO demands anti-torture law implementation

A civil society organisation, Access to Justice, has demanded the implementation of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017, noting that the provisions in the act were not being enforced since it was passed into law four years ago.

The CSO said no single security operative has been prosecuted despite reported incidences of use of torture during investigations by the security agencies.

The Project Director, Acess to Justice, Mr Deji Ajare, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday, during the presentation of a book, ‘The Anti-Torture Act, 2017: A handbook for law enforcement and security officials in Nigeria,’ written by Prof Chris Ohuruogu.

Ajare, a lawyer, called for faithful enforcement of the law on torture, adding that this was the only way to address the use of torture to obtain information from suspects during investigations.

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He said, “Since the Anti-Torture Act, 2017 was signed, no single person has been prosecuted for torture and yet, we hear daily about cases of torture. We need to enforce the provisions of the law and hold those engaging in it accountable for their deeds.”

The Deputy Director, Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action, Mrs Ogechi Ogu, noted that many security officers are not aware of the law, adding that this could be addressed through education, capacity building, change of attitude and culture.

Ogu called on the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, as well as government officials and agencies mentioned in the law to provide the guidelines and rules in enforcing the anti-torture law in order to address the issue of accountability.

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