The Nigerian government has inaugurated the National Committee Against Torture (NCAT), to tackle the increasing cases of torture in Nigeria.
Inaugurating the Committee in Abuja, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation (HAGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN) stated that the Committee is expected to play a crucial role to stamp out torture and other related vices, and to ensure justice to survivors and victims.
Malami observed that poor funding was the bane of the previous Committee, pointing out that the provision of adequate funding to ease the work of the Committee has become imperative.
According to the Minister, in as much as the Committee has been given a broad mandate to deal with issues of torture in the country in accordance with the UN Convention Against Torture, it is at liberty to seek more areas to dwell if the need arises, considering the critical nature of this national assignment.
The AGF said that the Committee is empowered to liaise with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in discharging its mandate, especially in the area of visits to Correctional Service facilities, to enable it to have first-hand information on the condition of inmates.
In her remarks, the Solicitor General of the Federation and Chairperson of the NCA Beatrice Jedy Agba, on behalf of other members commended the HAG for reconstituting the committee. She assured the AGF of the committee’s commitment to satisfactorily implement the terms of reference, particularly with respect to providing timely statutory reports as required under UNCAT and working with renewed vigour towards fighting against the scourge.
Speaking at the inauguration, the Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission, Chief Tony Ojukwu (SAN) who also doubles as the alternate Chair of the Committee said the idea of NHRC hosting the Committee (Secretariat) is in line with international best practices, given that it brings credibility to the work of the Committee.
Ojukwu recalled that visits to Correctional Service facilities and other detention centres was one of the major challenges of the previous Committee, saying that leveraging on the powers of the Commission to visit such facilities will be highly beneficial to the Committee.
The NHRC Boss emphasized the need for the Committee to collaborate with relevant MDAs, Nigerian Bar Associations and Civil Society Organizations to identify and escalate complaints of torture so as to facilitate timely redress of these cases by the Committee.
The Committee’s Terms of Reference are “To engage and liaise with Committee Against Torture (CAT) and regional human rights mechanisms in the context of country reporting, interactive dialogue or facilitation of visits by special procedure mandate holders or the Subcommittees on the Prevention of Torture.
“To organize and facilitate the preparation of reports to CAT and regional human rights mechanisms, and of responses to communication, follow up questions and recommendations or decisions received from such mechanisms.
“To coordinate data collection and information gathering from government agencies, National Assembly and the Judiciary for the reporting and follow up.
“To foster and lead consultations for reporting and follow up with the National Human Rights Commission and Civil Society Organizations.
“To receive and consider communications on torture from individuals, CSOs and government institutions.
“To ensure education and information regarding the prohibition against torture are fully included in the training of law enforcement and public officers.
“To prepare quarterly briefings to the HAGF on cases of torture and propose appropriate administrative/Judicial intervention.
“Propose a review of Anti-Torture Legislation and further develop a National Anti-Torture Policy”.
Members of the newly reconstituted Committee are drawn from the Federal Ministry of Justice, National Human Right Commission, Nigeria Police Force, Legal Aids Council, Nigeria Correctional Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Department of State Services, the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Bar association among others.
Group Calls For Protection Of Journalists In Bayelsa, Imo, Kogi States
The Media Rights Agenda (MRA) has urged for necessary measures to protect journalists and other media workers during this weekend’s off-cycle elections in Bayelsa, Imo, and Kogi States.
The group sent the request to the federal and state governments, as well as law enforcement and security agencies, stressing that the role of journalists in disseminating information about the electoral process is critical to ensuring free, fair, and transparent elections.
In a statement issued ahead of the elections in Lagos and signed by the Communications Officer, Media Rights Agenda, Idowu Adewale, MRA also urged journalists to be cautious and to use its existing hotline (08138755660) to report any threat or attack they may encounter during the process, as well as any obstacle.
Adewale said in the statement: “Given the pattern of heightened attacks on journalists and the media during previous elections, including the recent 2023 general elections, as well as the tense political climate in the three states in the lead-up to the elections, measures must be taken to ensure general security during the elections and provide adequate protection for journalists covering the elections.”
“Access to information allows citizens and other members of the public to have the information they need about political and electoral processes, facilitating effective public participation in elections,” he says.
“Journalists and the media play an important role in ensuring residents and other members of the public have access to information and may participate in the process.
“As part of efforts to preserve the integrity of the polls, it is also critical that the safety and well-being of these interlocutors be assured and safeguarded.”
Lamenting the increased number of attacks on journalists in the run-up to the off-cycle elections, as well as earlier this year in the run-up to the general elections, he emphasised that “a free and vibrant media is fundamental to a healthy democracy, and journalists must be able to carry out their duties without fear, coercion, or violence.” During this vital phase, MRA stands ready to assist them and assure their safety.”
Police Nab Husband, As Mother Of ‘Mummy Be Calming Down’ Boy Takes Own Life
Men from the Edo State Police Command are said to have detained Mrs. Toluige Olokoobi’s husband after he allegedly murdered her.
Olokoobi was the mother of Oreofeoluwa Lawal-Babalola, the tiny boy whose video went viral in 2020 after he pleaded with his mother, “Mummy be calming down.”
Oreofeoluwa rose to prominence on social media after a video of him crying in an attempt to confidently appeal to his mother, who chastised him, went viral.
The film inspired Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who used it to deliver an Eid-el-Kabir appeal to Muslims and Lagos people in general to remain calm during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Following that, the youngster and his family met with the governor, who praised his bravery and poise.
While little has been heard about the family in three years, heartbreaking news broke on social media on Tuesday that the boy’s mother had committed suicide.
According to an X user, Olokoobi committed suicide in Benin, the capital of Edo State, for unknown reasons.
The X user, who stated that he was present at the site on Monday afternoon, went on to say that she had refused to disclose her difficulties with anyone before committing herself.
“The woman in the viral Mummy Calm Down video has just committed suicide here in Benin,” he stated in an email.
“She refused to discuss her problems with anyone.” She abandoned three children for her husband, including the well-known Mummy Calm Down boy.”
Meanwhile, confirming Olokoobi’s death in a chat with BBC Pidgin, the spokesperson of the Edo State police command, Chidi Nwabuzor, said her husband has been arrested and detained for questioning.
Nwabuzor said the husband reported the matter to the police.
The police spokesperson quoted the husband to have said that “he came home from the market when he saw his wife hanging with rope on her neck”.
Nwabuzor said she was rushed to the hospital and then to the mortuary after she was confirmed dead. (Adapted from a Vanguard report).
Anambra: CP Aderemi Adeoye Decorates Promoted Officers With New Ranks
The Anambra State Police Command Headquarters Conference Hall was a hive of activity Thursday as CP Aderemi Adeoye took turns decorating around 18 promoted officers of the command with their new titles.
The delight of some of the officers whose wives assisted the CP in decorating their husbands with their new ranks knew no bounds, as their husbands duly saluted their wives and the CP for their new positions and responsibilities.
Obi Innocent, one of the officers elevated to the rank of Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), whose wife joined CP Aderemi Adeoye in adorning him with his new rank, said it was wonderful that the Inspector General of Police thought him worthy.
CSP Obi Innocent, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13, Police Zonal Headquarters Ukpo, stated that his new rank was a call to service and that he would do his best to uphold the charge given to them by CP Aderemi Adeoye to respect and protect the citizenry’s fundamental rights in the discharge of their new assignments.
Charity Akharame, who was honoured with the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) and was the only female officer among the 18 promoted officers decorated with new ranks, said it was not an easy feat but she was grateful to be among those who were decorated with their new ranks.
DSP Charity Akharame, the officer in charge of stores in the Anambra State Police Command, recalled how she began as a Police Constable and worked her way up to her current position as Deputy Superintendent of Police.
She stated that as a very disciplined police officer, she would follow the Police Commissioner’s directions regarding respect for all and sundry in the fulfillment of her constitutional obligations.
Jane-Frances Obi, one of the spouses of the officers elevated to the level of CSP, stated that being the wife of a police officer was not an easy assignment. As a result, she recommended any lady who is married to a police officer to be patient and understanding because the job is quite demanding.
Jane-Frances Obi, whose husband is Innocent Obi, the officer in charge of the Legal Department at Zone 13 Ukpo, believes the promotion is a reward for years of being patient, understanding, and standing in for them when they are not present.
Meanwhile, Emenike Chinenyenwa, who was decorated with the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) and presented a vote of appreciation, expressed deep gratitude to the IGP and the Chairman of the Police Service Commission for considering them worthy of being adorned in their new ranks.
ACP Emenike, the officer in charge of Medicals, stated that the elevation comes with increased responsibility and that they will work harder in their new tasks.
CP Aderemi Adeoye praised the current promotion winners in his remarks, noting that two aspects make the police career very interesting and eventful. He stated that one is for promotion and the other is for positions.
CP Adeoye, on the other hand, urged the newly honored officers to develop more empathy, compassion, care, and dedication in the performance of their jobs.
The police chief insisted that newly promoted officers must first recognise that they share the same humanity as others, and as a result, they must treat all people with dignity and protect their fundamental human rights at all times.
CP Aderemi Adeoye stressed that without the enormous roles of spouses, they wouldn’t have been successful in their careers. He therefore congratulated all the promoted and prayed that God gives them good health to enjoy the new ranks and the energy to discharge the responsibilities of their new offices.
- Source: Independent