COMMANDING OFFICER OF A UNIT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY TORTURE COMMITTED BY HIS UNIT/SUBORDINATES.* Daily Law Tips (Tip 463) by Onyekachi Umah, Esq., LLM. ACIArb(UK)

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Torture is the intentional infliction of mental or physical pain/suffering on a person ignorer to obtain information/confession, or punish, intimidate and force him or a third party.

Torture includes; beatings, food deprivation, rubbing of pepper/chemicals, assuming of stressful bodily positions, rape, exposure to cold/sunlight, use of drugs, blindfolding, threat, prolonged interrogation, unscheduled transfer of persons, secret detention, denial of sleep, shaming, stripping naked and parading in public places. There is no justification for torture, not even war, national security or high profile case.

Where there is torture in any security agency, the immediate commanding officer officer in-charge of the unit/department that committed such offence of torture will be held liable as an accessory to the crime, for any act or omission or negligence on his part that may have led to the commission of torture by his subordinates/colleagues. The punishment for torture is imprisonment for not more than 25 years and there is no option for fine.

My authorities are sections 2, 8(4) and 14 of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017 and section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

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