Nigerian government approves National Committee on Torture
The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved the immediate constitution of a National Committee on Torture.
This follows Nigeria's ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture on 27 July 2009.
Members of the committee include experts on criminal justice and children's rights, legal practioners, police and judicial officials. Olawale Fapohunda, PRI's board member, is vice chairperson of the committee.
Terms of Reference of the Committee include:
(I) Receive and consider communications on torture from individuals,
Civil Society organisations, and government institutions
(ii) Visit all places of detention in Nigeria and promptly and impartially
examine any allegation of torture therein
(iii) Ensure that education and information regarding the prohibition
against torture are fully included in the training of law enforcement
personnel, civil or military, medical personnel, public officials and
other persons who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or
treatment of any individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or
(iv) Keep under systematic review, interrogation rules, instructions,
methods and practices as well as arrangements for the custody and
treatment of persons subjected to any form of arrest, detention or
imprisonment, with a view to preventing any cases of torture
(v) Prepare quarterly briefings to the HAGF (High Attorney-General of the Federation) on cases of torture and propose appropriate administrative and judicial intervention
(vi) Propose Anti-Torture Legislation
(vii) Further develop a National Anti-Torture Policy
The Committee was inaugurated on 29 September 2009.