National Association of Social Workers (NASOW) has commended the House of Representatives for being able to approve a report on a bill that makes torture and all forms of inhuman treatment in public places and homes in the country a criminal act.
According to NASOW’s Secretary General, Mallam Jamilu Musa who spoke on phone from his Kano base, “NASOW thinks sincerely that the House of Representatives have done well in this instance making the bill which makes torture in any form in the offices, police cells and homes now offences punishable by law.”
Nigerian social workers are also not happy with the Green Chambers which gave so much hope to the ‘sacred profession of care givers’ whose bill of professonalisation was just awaiting the third and final reading. We had looked with hope that the bill will scale through the outgoing parliament. Our hopes had only been delayed it is not dead.”
The bill on torture was sponsored by Nkiruka Onyejeocha an Abia State lawmaker. It’s titled: ‘Bill for an Act Penalising the Commission of Acts of Torture and Other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishments, prescribing penalties thereof and for other purposes’.
The bill was the subject of consideration by the Committee throughout last Thursday before it was finally approved.
The session was presided over by the Speaker, Mr. Aminu Tambuwal.
Defending the bill in an executive summary presented to the committee members, Onyejeocha described torture as a degrading act which are strictly prohibited at all times under international laws, regardless of the person who commits it and what crimes the victim may be suspected of having committed.
“The proposed bill underscores that freedom from torture is a non-negotiable right,” Onyejeocha said.
“No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability, or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture.”
According to the bill acts of torture include ”systematic beatings, head-bangings, punching, kicking, striking with rifle butts and jumping on the stomach, among others.