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ANPEZ To Collaborate With Security Agencies To End Torture

The Managing Director of ANPEZ Centre for Environment and Development, Barr. Everest Nwankwo said the organization will soon collaborate with security agencies in the state to minimize torture.

Barr. Nwankwo stated this in an interview with journalists shortly after a two day programme on “Experience Sharing And Training The Trainer Workshop On Torture Prevention And Right Awareness Campaign” in Port Harcourt.

He said the two day training programme was organized to equip the Human Rights Organization, Security agencies like the State Security Services (SSS), the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Civil Defence, TIMARIV, Community leaders and Non-Governmental Organizations to be exposed to the incidents that lead to torture and find solutions on how it can be reduced to the barest minimum.

Answering questions on the way forward and on how to monitor partners training, Barr. Nwankwo said since the network is one they will attain any programme call by any of the agencies or organizations.

Also speaking after the event Barr. Nathaniel Akpos, the Project Manager for Torture Prevention and Rights Awareness Campaign funded by the European Union and implemented by ANPEZ Centre and Environment Development said the workshop was used to share awareness campaign. He averred the participants will equipped to train others especially has they were exposed to impart the knowledge acquired to others.

Barr. Akpos said the workshop was an avenue to relate with stakeholders who work on areas of torture where participants will have instrument that they can stand and defend citizens who are been tortured or have to be tortured.

Barr. P.O. Ukposi in his paper presentation titled, “Confessional Statement Obtained Under Torture And Ill-treatment”.

A question of relevance and admissibility said, torture was mostly perpetrated during the military regime and it behoves on the legislatures to make torture a crime in Nigeria, while the paper centre on the Evidence Acts Section 29, saying confession should be made voluntary and not forceful or by oppression.

In their separate presentations, Mr. Eugene Badom and Mrs. Sarah Orage of the National Human Rights Commission, South-South zone presented statistics on cases of torture investigated by the commission.

They positioned that the Commission has intervened on cases of jail delivery by the Chief Judge as part of its contributions, as they call on the citizens to report cases of torture to their office.

Earlier, Barr. Gabriel Ibanichuka, a team member of the group against torture, said “the programme is a practical training to assist us on the field”.

He said he has impacted the civil society organizations and NGOs to reduce torture to the barest minimum.

Participants had earlier called government to build correction centers for minor offenders rather than keep them with criminals in the common cell. They also tasked NHRC to intervene in the decongestion of Nigerian Prisons. ###

Pius Dukor

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