Buoyed by the desire to reduce the incidences of torturing suspects in Nigeria, the Legal Defence Assistance Project (LEDAP) has commenced the training of police officers in Lagos.The training, which is in partnership with the United Nations Democracy Funds (UNDF) and National Committee Against Torture (NCAT) is christened, ‘Community Mobilization Against Tortured’.
According to LEDAP’s programme director, Mrs Pamela Okoroigwe, the training is part of its activities to educate the police with the right knowledge and to change their attitude against suspects.
“We all know that there is a general perception in our culture. When a person is taken to police station, they torture the person to get a confessional statement. People know that that is the way it operates. We want to educate them on the basic human rights and legal aids services.
“This training covers all the Police Division in Lagos State. When we are done with this training, the officers will go back to their stations to train others. We intend to train about 8,700 officers. So after Area H, Ojodu, we are moving to Festac.
“For the trainings we have done so far, the officers are saying they receive order from their superior. They also complained bitterly about police welfare. They said in most cases, the complainants have to mobilize them to buy stationery,” she explained.She stated that LEDAP is focusing on training the senior officers and mid level officers “because orders usually come from them”.