By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Kaduna
Avocats Sans Frontières France (ASF France) otherwise known as Lawyers Without Borders, has commended the Nigerian government on the signing of the anti-torture bill into law in December 2017.
Angela Uwandu, Head of Office, ASF France in Nigeria, in a statement, said, “holding perpetrators of torture accountable for their action which is what this much awaited law aims to achieve, is an important step in ensuring justice for torture victims and in curbing the practise of torture in Nigeria”.
According to her, the new legislation not only criminalises torture but also prescribes 25 years imprisonment for perpetrators of torture. This, she added, will provide the long desired opportunity to hold perpetrators of torture in Nigeria accountable for their actions.
Angela, noted that the move is coming at an important point where there is an ongoing demand by the public for reforms within the Police units especially the Special Anti Robbery Squad which had been notorious for use of torture.
“It is hoped that prompt implementation of this legislation will successfully address the challenge of rampant use of torture by security agencies in Nigeria and provide justice for the countless victims of torture in Nigeria.
“ASF France therefore urges for quick action on the part of the Attorney General of the Federation to ensure prompt implementation of this important legislation to pave way for its full enjoyment by all. She said.
She explained that “since 2009, Avocats Sans Frontières France has been working with victims and families to ensure justice for victims of torture in Nigeria. It has also been working with the National Human Rights Commission on promoting the principles of the UN Convention Against Torture in Nigeria. Between 2014 and 2017.
“ASF France has provided free legal services to 253 victims of torture across 3 states in Nigeria on the platform of its ProCAT project with many obtaining redress and compensation for torture suffered.”