Solicitor-General tasks stakeholders on ending torture

Mrs Beatrice Jeddy-Agba, mni, the Solicitor-General of the Federation and has called on stakeholders to speak with one voice against all forms of torture in Nigeria.
Jeddy-Agba made the call during the 2024 Commemoration of the International Day Against Victims of Torture organised by the Federal Ministry of Justice in conjunction with the National Human Rights Commission.

NAN reports that the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26 marks the moment when the Convention came into effect in 1987. Since then, the international anti-torture framework has come a long way.

The theme of the celebration is: “Voices Against Torture: A Call for Global Justice and Human Rights”.

She acknowledged the tireless efforts of stakeholders who have made necessary sacrifices to ensure Nigeria complies with UN Convention Against Torture and other forms of Inhuman degrading treatment.

She, however, stressed that stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors must speak with one voice against the perpetrators of torture, and for all who suffer at their hands, in order to build a better, more humane society for Nigerians.

“Nigeria has continued to demonstrate its commitment to the ideals of respect for human rights, particularly the prevention of torture and other inhuman degrading treatment against citizens.

“Today is designed to remind ourselves of the need to continue to prevent torture in Nigeria.

“June 26 of every year is therefore an occasion to highlight our collective collaboration to the prohibition of torture and all forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

“It is also an opportunity to express solidarity with the sufferings of victims and their families, and to reaffirm the need for a global commitment to rehabilitate all victims of all such abuse’’.

`We are committed to advocating, training and sensitising our law enforcement agencies, hospitals, psychiatric wards and other places of limited liberty, of the need to ensure respect for human rights.

“I encourage our law enforcement agencies to continue to support measures aimed at combating torture in all their detention centers.

“I solicit the support of our stakeholders and development partners to continue to give the necessary support aimed at rooting out torture and ensuring that Nigeria complies with its international obligations’’.

Also speaking, Dr Tony Ojukwu, the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission said the event provides the platform to reflect on the plight of victims of torture and how to eliminate torture.

“We must always speak against this abhorrent violation of human rights that has left protracted and profound scars on families, individuals, and communities.

“This is another opportunity to call for the strengthening of national efforts and mechanisms towards preventing torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

“It is significant that Nigeria has taken active steps by being a party to core international and regional instruments that condemn this heinous violation of human rights and ensure that persons, irrespective of their circumstances, are treated with utmost dignity.

“We must enhance support services, including medical care, psycho-social, and legal assistance to victims and survivors by establishing rehabilitation centers across the country provide the necessary care and support to survivors.

“We call for the strict implementation of laws that prohibit torture and ensure that perpetrators are held accountable for their actions.

“We must strengthen our legal frameworks to ensure comprehensive protection for all persons in Nigeria,’’ he added.

NAN reports that on Dec. 10, 1984, the UN General Assembly adopted the convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

The UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on 26 June marks the moment when the Convention came into effect in 1987.

Since then, the international anti-torture framework has come a long way.

The absolute prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment is now the object of legal consensus, recognised as a jus cogens norm.

The entry into force of the Optional Protocol to the Convention in 2006 has given a new impetus to torture prevention, establishing a system of regular, independent visits by independent oversight bodies to places of detention as a critical safeguard against abuses.

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