Josephine Odumakin (4th right) and others at the event.

By Esther Onyegbula

In commemoration of the International Day in support of victims of torture, human rights advocate Josephine Odumakin has urged the government to take action to implement the 2021 CAT concluding observations and recommendations to eradicate every form of torture in Nigeria.

Speaking at an event organised by the Society For Youth Advancement And Creativity (SHACO), to mark the International Day in support of victims of torture, Josephine Odumakin said the continued inability to end torture was further impugning Nigeria’s reputation among the comity of nations.”

She noted that in Nigeria some people are still subjected to different forms of torture.

“Nigerians are tortured daily while in custody, some of them are beaten, and shocked with electricity. Daily people are kidnapped and subjected to torture and some are killed.

“We have seen our girls abducted by terrorist who tortures them.

“To put an end to this, we must change our mindset and ensure that we extinguish torture from our decision physically and mentally. Some people are mentally tortured,” Odumakin added.

According to the convener of the event and Executive Director, Society For Youth Advancement And Creativity, SHACO, Ambassador Mark Akande, torture seeks to annihilate the victim’s personality and denies the inherent dignity of the human being.

Despite the absolute prohibition of torture under international law, torture persists in all regions of the world.

Concerns about protecting national security and borders are increasingly used to allow torture and other forms of cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment.

Its pervasive consequences often go beyond the isolated act on an individual and can be transmitted through generations and lead to cycles of violence.

Lamenting, Abiodun Akintade, Chairman Mega-City Drivers Association, said that drivers in Lagos state are subjected to mental, physical and financial torture by touts who extort them daily, while carrying out their legitimate business.

Akintade added that despite having a state-controlled parks and garages management, the illegal levies and bus-stop to bus-stop collection of illegal levies and dues on federal highways by NURTW and RTEAN continued unabated.

“On most occasions, when we choose not to pay such illegal fees and manage to drag the matter to the nearest Police Station, it is always the drivers who are put behind bars or locked up while the offending tout is set free to resume his illegal collection fees on public roads and highways,” he moaned.


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