An application seeking to force the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami (SAN), to implement the Anti-Torture Act has been granted by a Federal High Court in Lagos.
Justice Tijjani Garba Ringim approved the Media Rights Agenda (MRA) request following a motion by its lawyer, Bankeye Akinwale.
MRA said despite the enactment of the Act in 2017, several Nigerians, including journalists, are being subjected to torture by law enforcement officials and non-state actors.
The organization noted that the AGF refused to act on its August 20, 2021 letter which requested to him perform the statutory duty imposed by the Act.
Upon reading the affidavit deposed to by John Gbadamosi, MRA’s Programme Officer and exhibits attached by Akinwale, Justice Ringim granted the application.
The judge gave the body permission to apply for an order of mandamus against Malami on the following reliefs:
“A declaration that the failure of the Attorney-General to make rules and regulations for the effective implementation of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017 as imposed on him by Section 11 is a breach of the law;
“An order of mandamus compelling the Attorney-General to carry out the duty imposed on him by Section 11 of the Act;
“An order of mandamus compelling the AGF to carry out the request in MRA’s letter of demand dated August 20, 2021 delivered on August 23, 2021, wherein MRA requested him to make the rules and regulations for effective implementation;
“An order directing the Attorney-General to pay to the organization the sum of N5million as exemplary and aggravated damages for the flagrant violation of the Section 11 of the Anti-Torture Act, 2017.”