Police

By Henry Ojelu

In a bid to strengthen the integrity and transparency of interrogation processes, the Human Rights Advocacy group, Access to Justice (A2J) in collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) & National Committee Against Torture (NCAT) has trained about 190 police officers on the Anti-torture Act and other legislation that prohibit torture.

The training workshop by A2J, supported by The Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption (ROLAC), was targeted at safeguarding crime suspects from abuse, oppression and exploitation by investigating police officers.

Sponsored by the British Council and the European Union, the workshop was conducted at the Lagos State Criminal investigation and intelligence department (SCIID), Panti, Yaba.

According to both facilitators of the training, Damian Ugwu and Idris Bala, who spoke on “Human Rights and the Local Legislations Prohibiting Torture”, No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or threat to war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture.

The facilitators noted that a person who has suffered torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment may seek legal assistance in the proper handling and filing of the complaint from the Human Rights Commission.

The facilitators admonished the officers to abstain from any such acts of torture such as systematic beating, punching, kicking with rifle butts, electric shocks, cigarette burning, rape or sexual abuse, submersion of head in water or urine, mutilation etc.

” Any person who contravenes Section 2 of the Anti-Torture Act commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for terms not exceeding 25 years.

“Torture resulting in the loss of life of a person is considered as murder and shall be tried and punished under the relevant laws”, they said.

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