Lawyers Without Borders Trains Security Agents in Kaduna on Principle of Human Rights

By Uangbaoje Alex, Kaduna

As part of efforts to improve the capacity of security agents in Kaduna State on principle of human rights, Advocats SANS Frontiers France otherwise known as Lawyers Without Borders, on Monday commenced a three-day training workshop for security agents working around administration of criminal justice system.

The NGO in collaboration with Carmelite Prisons Interest Organisation (CAPIO) with support from the European Union are currently executing a project called Strengthening the National Actors Capacities and Advocation for Ending Severe Human Rights Violations in Nigeria (SAFE) bordering on torture, arbitrary detention and extra judicial killing.

Head of Office, Advocats SANS Frontiers, Angela Uwandu said, the capacity building training for security agents was aimed at promoting the human right principles around torture, arbitrary detention and extra judicial killings in Kaduna state.

According to Mrs Uwandu, the workshop is a brainstorming session with all the security agents to identity why the issues of human rights violation has persisted despite the different trainings for the security agents and how best to tackle it.

“We are not here to put blame on any body, human right violations are real and because security agencies are at the forefront that is why we brought all the stakeholders involved together to brainstorm on the issue.” She said.

Executive Director, CAPIO, Rev. Fr. Ambrose Ekeroku said, his organisation in partnership with Advocats SANS, decided to build the capacity of Police and other security agents and justice administrators on the the need to respect the principle of human rights.

“We want to build their capacity to uphold and safeguard human rights which is common today especially as ones violating the rights of people they are paid to protect,” he added.

In a remark, Coordinator, National Human Right Commission, Kaduna State office, Terngu Gwar, lamented the increase in issues of human right violations in Nigeria

To him, “people don’t know their right while among the security agencies, there is the issue of capacity even when they have code of conducts. We need synergy. We need partnership. We have been working with Lawyers Without Borders to build the capacity of security agents.

“We are not here to blame anyone. We are here to brainstorm on how to minimise issues around human rights violation and abuses. Today we are on this side. Tomorrow, we may be on the side of civil population. What we do today will wait for us when we find ourselves in the other side tomorrow,” He noted.

Also speaking, Kaduna State Comptroller, Correctional Service, Sunusi Muhazu Dan-Musa, who was represented by O C Legal, Isah A. Zakari, urged those participating in the 2-day training to put into use all the lessons they would be taught.

“Whatever we are going to be taught, we shall put it into use because it is one thing to learn a new thing and it is another thing to put the new knowledge into use. We are going to engage with our leaders to see how we can engage in Human Right protection as we carry out our constitutional responsibility,” he said.

On his part, Commissioner of Police in the State, Ali Janga, who was represented by Matthew Danjuma Leo, regretted that, “though the highest number of brutality narrowed than to police, but tooday, there is also a lot of great improvements on how we do our work.”

Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Kaduna State Ministry of Justice, Chris Umar said, the ministry is doing a lot to ease administration of criminal justice in the state.

“We have inagurated a committee comprised of security agencies to monitor administration of criminal justice. We have also established a department of directorate of citizen department. We have also established four sexual assault referer centres across the three geo political zone to address the rising issue of abuses.

“We do visit prison quarterly to see how our prisons can be decongested. We review the cases and refer them to appropriate courts to handle such cases especially the minor cases that have landed some in prison.”

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