RE: FOLLOW-UP REPORT ON THE MEASURES TAKEN BY NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT TO GIVE EFFECT TO THE RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS OF THE COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE (CAT/C/NGA/COAR/1)
1. Sequel to the 72nd Session of the United Nations Committee Against Torture (CAT), the Committee forwarded its Concluding Observations and Recommendations to Nigeria for response.
2. The Concluding Observations raises specific issues pertaining to incidences of torture in Nigeria, such as the End-SARS incident, as well as other allegations of torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention and excessive use of force. The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation has responded to the issues raised and the response is published on UNCAT’s website.
3. In summary, the Country report takes into consideration the information forwarded by various MDAs in respect of the issues raised in CAT Observations and Recommendations. In summary, the issues include:
a. Allegations of torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention and excessive use of force, in particular by SARS
In responding to this, Committee in its report stated that the Nigerian Government does not support torture, ill-treatment or excessive use of force. That the government set up the Presidential Panel on Reform of SARS which has concluded and submitted its report. A second phase of investigations in response to the escalation of Endsars protests commenced in October 2020. Flowing from the investigations, several police officers have been investigated and dismissed for human rights abuses.
b. On pretrial detention and over-crowding
The report states the innovative initiatives taken by the Government with respect to the enactment of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, which prescribes detention time limits and protocols. It also informs on the amendment to the Nigerian Correctional Service Act which replaces the former Prisons Act 1972 and contains pragmatic provisions aimed at addressing the challenge of pretrial detention.
c. National Preventive Mechanism
The report underscores the Nigerian Government’s actions with respect to complying with the provisions of the Optional Protocol to CAT (OPCAT) by adopting a National Preventive Mechanism model taking into account the peculiar political, social and economic structure of Nigeria and the prevailing security situation. In this regard, the NCAT was reconstituted with the SGF/PS as Chairperson and the Executive Secretary NHRC, as the alternate Chair.
d. On Gender-based violence
The report underscores the provisions of the Violence against Persons (Prohibition) Act (VAPPA), as well as institutional frameworks such as NAPTIP, Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and others to tackle Gender based violence in Nigeria.
4. The Concluding Observations and Recommendations of CAT as well as the Governments Response are herein provided. The Government welcomes concerted efforts aimed at eliminating all forms of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment as reiterated in the Constitution and the United Nations Convention against Torture.
Mrs B.E Jedy-Agba, OON, mni.
Solicitor-General of the Federation
and Permanent Secretary