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Commission Moves To Eradicate Torture In Nigeria

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The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has expressed its commitment to eradicating the use of torture as a means of retrieving information from suspects in Nigeria.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Prof. Bem Angwe said this recently at a forum in Abuja.

He said the use of torture by law enforcement agencies during interrogation was wrong.

He also told newsmen that  the use of torture violated Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution and other international charters and instruments to which Nigeria is signatory.

“Our own focus, our own mission is not only to reduce it to a barest minimum, but we want this issue of torture of Nigerians or the use of coercion as a means of retrieving of information from suspects is a thing of the past.

“We have put all machineries in motion to ensure that we achieve this. In this regard, we have started discussions with the security agencies.

“And in a very short period of time, we are going to start organising seminars. We will be organising interactive sessions with security agencies to put an end to that; that is by a way of preventing the occurrences of such acts and that is in respect to our protection mandate.

“But where such acts are reported today, we shall proceed to take appropriate actions; and appropriate actions that we will take in this regard will include the prosecution of persons who are involved in torturing Nigerians as means of retrieving information.

“And then we would go further to provide for the payment of compensation to the victims of torture; and in this regard we are determined to succeed and we are going to succeed.”

Angwe told newsmen that though the commission is a national institution, it would not hesitate to prosecute individuals, security agencies or government agencies involved secrete torturing of people or violating their right.

“We do know that even where we engage the security agencies, there may still be instances where people will be tortured secretly.

“Well, the commission, once its attention is drawn to any of such acts, the commission will definitely act.

“And one way of ensuring that some individuals within the security sector are involved or continue to be involved in acts of torture, we shall apply the full provisions of our mandate by recommending to the Attorney-General of the Federation to prosecute such cases.

“And I want to tell you that by our new law, our recommendations have a binding measure; they are not mere recommendations, but they are binding and where such persons are prosecuted, we shall go further to order that the victims are compensated.

“I also want to say here that by our new law, our decisions have the binding effect as if they were the decisions of a High Court of a state or Federal High Court.

Angwe said that though the decisions of the commission could be subject to appeal, “our decisions must be complied with, until such an appeal has been successfully determined’’.

He also told newsmen that the commission had so far received at least 45 reported cases of human rights violations committed during the protest against fuel subsidy withdrawal.

He explained that some of the petitions received were general in nature and not specific cases that the commission could investigate.

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ITF Rates EEDC High On Human Resources Dev

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The Industrial Training Fund (ITF) has adjudged the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) “Best in Human Resource Development for 2020.”
Presenting the award of EEDC headquarters in Enugu, the Area Manager, ITF Enugu, Mrs Uzoamaka Yahaya, said the award was in recognition of EEDC’s efforts in the area of human capital development.
Yahaya said that the company did tremendously well in staff capacity building within the South-Eastern part of the company.
“The EEDC, which is a South-East franchise power firm, clinched the coveted award for the first time by meeting and exceeding all the necessary training requirements and financial obligations,” she said.
Responding after receiving the award, the Head Human Resources, EEDC, Mrs Nkiru Chukwuma, appreciated ITF for acknowledging all that the company had been doing in empowering its personnel.
Chukwuma also reiterated EEDC’s continued commitment to the training and retraining of staff, bearing in mind that they remained its critical asset.

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Body Tasks S’East On Climate Change

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A United Nations (UN) affiliated Climate Organisation, Protect Our Planet (POP) Movement, has urged people of the South East geopolitical zone to key into climate protection movements and practical messages to stem the tide of climate change.
The group made the call during its South-East “Climate Strike and Green Walk”, which was sub-themed; “Clean-up Enugu” held last Saturday in major roads and streets in Enugu metropolis.
The members of POP, who evacuated refuse on the roads, carried placards with the following inscriptions: “There is No Planet B”, “Climate Justice Now,” “Recycle Don’t Waste” among others.
The Country representative of POP, Mr Samuel Okorie, said that the essence of the walk and sanitation was to educate the residents of South-East that “climate change is real” and to imbibe good climate habits.
According to him, “we are raising the consciousness of people in the South-East on climate issues, which is already affecting them through numerous erosion sites, extinction of some native crops and excessive heat.”
Okorie also called on Nigerians to jettison a practice that injures the climate and environment.
“Nigerians must stop indiscriminate felling of tress, bush burning, dumping of refuse on drains/waterways, dumping of industrial chemicals on water-ways and streams and building on waterways.”
The country representative challenged residents of the South-East on taking practical actions to support good climate and environmental practices.
Continuing, he further said, “We just need one person to take just one positive action to protect our environment and such deed we add to efforts to revise the current climate change.”
Speaking, Executive Director, Town Crier Initiative Africa, Mr Ogene Ogbodo, said that it was time for Nigerians to rise and reverse all negative habits that had brought climate change development to the country.

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Magashi, Aregbesola, Others Meet Over Insecurity In S’East

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Defence Minister, Retired Maj Gen Bashir Magashi, his Interior Ministry counterpart, H.E. Raul Adesoji Aregbesola and Service Chiefs, over the weekend held a closed-door meeting on security challenges with all the Governors of the South East geo-political zone and other leaders of the political, religious and traditional institutions in the zone, at the Government House, Enugu.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, in his welcome address, described the Town Hall meeting as timely and apt, expressing optimism that the outcome of the meeting will engender the watershed to the security challenges in the South East zone.
The Governor who stressed the need for all government structures to uphold the security and welfare of the people as the primary purpose of government (enshrined in the 1999 Constitution), said that the consultation with the Service Chiefs and critical stakeholders of the South East zone, on the current security challenges, “underscores the centrality of this security responsibility in our consideration”. 
He, therefore thanked President Muhammadu Buhari over what he described as “desirable and laudable development”.

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