- The Nigerian government has been urged to continue making efforts to ensure detainees in its holding facilities are not tortured
- The UN committee against torture made several recommendations for the Nigerian government to adopt
- Some of the recommendations include training and retaining legal officials as well as ensuring that confessional statements are not obtained through torture or ill-treatment of detainees
In November, the Nigerian delegation led by the Ekiti state Attorney General of the Federation and commissioner of justice, Olawale Fapohunda, were at the 72nd session of the United Nations Committee Against Torture sitting.
The sitting which took place in Geneva Switzerland between November 8 and December 3, saw to the submission of reports of states on the implementation of the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
For the past 20 years, Nigeria has remained a signatory to the convention. However, obligations pertaining to the convention which includes submission of progress reports on the implementation of the convention has never been adhered to by Nigeria.
At a consultative workshop for non-governmental, community-based and faith-based organisations and the media on the report of the UN committee, Uju Agomoh, said it is disappointing that the Nigerian state has consistently failed to fulfil its obligations on the convention.
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Agomoh who is the executive director of the Prisoners Rehabilitation and Welfare Action (PRAWA) said it is still shocking that after all preparations and efforts put in by all and sundry to produce a report, the document was never submitted at the 72nd session of the UN meeting.
"It was so shocking and when people were telling us and I said it was not possible because I knew there was a report."
"After a time, they told me the minister was looking at the report, and later I was told the minister had okayed it. After a while again, I was told the resort had been transmitted from the ministry of justice to the presdiency."
Three different reports were expected from Nigeria by the UN committee, one from the federal government, the other from the National Human Rights Commission and another from civil society organisations within the country.
Some recommendations made by the Committee Against Torture in the absence of Nigeria's report
However, not perturbed by the failure of the state to meet its obligation, the UN committee made recommendations for Nigeria.
The committee recommended that the state provide judicial officers and lawyers with specific training on applying the convention directly and asserting the rights established before the courts, the officers are also expected to submit information about specific cases in which the convention has been invoked before the domestic courts in its next periodic report.
The state party would continue to make efforts to bring its definition of torture fully into article 1 of the convention, ensure the rights of detainees to be brought before a judge, be freed, and challenge the legality of their detention at any stage of the proceedings and ensure detainees have right to request and obtain a medical examination by an independent physician of their choice.
Also, ensure that all police, military and national security officers receive mandatory training emphasising the link between non-coercive interrogation techniques, the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment and the obligation of the judiciary to invalidate confessions made under torture.
The state is also expected to provide human and financial resources needed to ensure the proper functioning of all local branches of the Legal Aid Council, provide adequate and regular training on relevant legal provisions, monitor the compliance and penalize any failure on the part of the officials to comply among many others.
Effect of torture never left Baba Suwe, Yomi Fabiyi decries
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that actor, Yomi Fabiyi, had shared a lengthy post on social media about what may have led to the failing health of late Baba Suwe.
Fabiyi maintained that Baba Suwe never healed from the torture he received from law enforcement agents.
The actor also blamed the government for not putting a proper structure in place to investigate criminal cases instead of resorting to torture.
Police question more students allegedly involved in the death of Sylvester Oromoni
The Lagos State Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Bureau, SCIIB, on Tuesday, December 7 invited four more students of Dowen College for questioning over their involvement in the death of Sylvester Oromoni, the 12-year-old student allegedly beaten to death by some senior students.
The police obtained a court order to detain the arrested suspects pending when investigations into the matter are concluded.
With the court order, as the investigation is concluded, the suspects will be taken to the juvenile department for the next line of action.