BY SUNNY A. DAVID
Towards the end of the year 2016, it was obvious that there was need for enhanced awareness campaign, advocacy and sensitization programmes to educate the law enforcement agencies, civil society organizations and the general public to evolve right attitudinal and institutional changes necessary for successful implementation of an anti-torture law in Nigeria.
It is in view of this that Access to Justice and Rule of Law and Anti-corruption, RoLAC, organized a two-day workshop in Awka, Anambra State, with support from the European Union, funded by the British Council, for Civil Society Organizations on the Anti-torture Act 2017.
Our correspondent reports that torture is an act by which pain or suffering, whether physical or mental is intentionally inflicted on a person.
Speaking on the workshop, a Professor of Law at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, also a life member of the International Federation of Women Lawyers, Professor Ogugua Ikpeze, said that effective collaboration and coordination between government agencies and institutions, as well as educative campaigns and mass awareness would be of great advantage to curbing torture.
Contributing, the Project Director, Access to Justice, Mr. Deji Ajare, who described the workshop as timely, due to the enormity of torture cases in recent times expressed the hope that the workshop would yield the required result.
In a paper presentation, Mrs. Didi Odigie-Bedell, a Lawyer and also the Director at the Law Reform Commission, who spoke on domestic and international legislations which prohibit and criminalize the use of torture, called for sensitization of the populace on the intendments of the anti-torture act.
The workshop which attracted professionals and practitioners from the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA, Nigeria Correctional Services, the media and Civil Society Organizations, has its theme as “Anti Torture Act and The Draft Rules That Guide Its Implementation.”