A Non-governmental Organisation, Avocats Sans Frontieres France (ASF)/, has stressed the need for security agencies to respect the fundamental human rights of Nigerians in the discharge of their duties.
The Head of the France-based Organisation also known as Lawyers without Borders, Mrs. Angela Uwandu, gave the advice on Wednesday at the opening of a three-day SAFE Training for Security Agencies in Enugu.
Uwandu noted that the issue of human rights violations by security agencies had generated a lot of tension in Nigeria, particularly with the ongoing protest against police brutality and detention.
She added that the training was set out to build the capacity of the participants (security operatives) to ensure they had requisite knowledge regarding human rights principles.
On the SAFE project, the Head of ASF France Office in Nigeria disclosed that the project would strengthen national actor’s capacity and advocate for ending serious human rights violation in Nigeria.
“We know that the SAFE project, which is to address core human right violation by security agencies involving issues of torture, extra-judicial killings and arbitrary detention.
“On this project, we have decided to conduct training to build capacity of security agencies to ensure that they have requisite knowledge regarding human rights principles.
“We have free legal services programme, where we have lawyers, who are providing free legal services to the victims of human rights abuses,” Uwandu added.
In his address, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Enugu State, Mr. Miletus Eze, regretted that security agencies saddled with the responsibility of enforcing instrument of human rights were the ones abusing it.
The Commissioner, represented by a Director in the ministry, Mrs.Obioma Okenyi, however, said that Enugu state was committed to ensuring that access to justice, rule of law and respect for human rights is given a top priority.
He then promised to assist ASF/Lawyers without Borders in realising the objective of its mandate.
One of the participants and Superintendent of Correctional Centre in Nsukka, Mr. Solomon Ossia, pointed out that the training was timely considering the #ENDSARS protest in the country.
Ossia stressed that the training would enlighten them more on the need for social justice as well as tackle the menace of injustice in the society
Contributing, Rev. Fr. Ambrose Ekereoku, the Executive Director, Carmelite Prisoners Interest Organisation, CAPIO, condemned the impunity at which security agencies carryout their activities, which he said, must stop.
Ekereoku noted that the ongoing #ENDSARS protest would have been averted, if the Police authorities had heeded to their warning to curtail the excesses of police brutality and intimidation in Nigeria.
NAN reports that participants at the training included representatives of Nigeria Correctional Service, Army, Police, Economic and Financial Crime Commission, (EFCC), Nigeria Immigration Service among others.