The Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr Ekpo Nta has charged the Anti-graft agencies in Nigeria to continue to protect the rights of suspects through strict compliance with the rule of law, as a suspect is considered not guilty until a court of law proves culpability.
Mr Nta who spoke recently during a chat with the media at ICPC Headquarters stated that the present ICPC Board’s priority on assumption of duties in 2011 was to address the issue of the Commission’s Detention Centre. “We made sure our Detention Centre is equal to any found in civilized nations. As soon as a suspect is arrested, we ensure that he is fit before detention.”
He added that the policy for the respect of human rights was something that he inherited from the past Chairmen of the Commission. He emphasized that “ICPC does not play with human rights. And I have done my best to continue in that direction”.
The ICPC Boss stated that the Commission paid about N300, 000:00 for the surgery of a suspect at the National Hospital. “Whether I’m in the country or not, I must know the condition of the Suspect we detain”.
He expressed happiness over the fact that the National Assembly was considering a Bill to protect detainees and abolish the extraction of information through torture because this is something the Commission abhors.
According to the Chairman, “We have never tortured anybody during interrogation in the history of our existence as an Anti-graft agency. Interrogators in different law enforcement agencies must be trained and retrained on how to do the right thing”.