According
to Sonya Maldar, author of “Justice Denied”, police shoot roughly one person
per week in Nigeria. This act is intentional and is just one form of torture
executed by police against Nigerians. People living in Nigeria are forced to
bear daily struggles that affect both their lives and the functioning of the
society. A violation of human rights is adherent in the Nigerian society, as
well as degrading of an individual’s hope and spirit. The greatest struggle
Nigerians must bear is the torture received from police authority, as it not
only illustrates the merciless side of society, but also the abuse of human
rights. 

            A
massive number of Nigerians fall victim to the torture officers execute in
police stations. In an article entitled, “Justice Denied”, author Sonya Maldar
states the primary reason for the use of torture is interrogation for crimes
committed (Maldar, 2005). The officers performing the inhumane acts of torture
typically do not receive any lawful action against them, simply because they
have impunity. In fact, the use of torture for interrogation has become an
acceptable action in Nigeria, therefore “many victims do not even question their
treatments,” regardless of how extreme or vicious they may seem (Maldar, 2005).
As for the types of brutalizing actions performed against victims, the list in
endless. Stories of torture range from severe flogging to starvation to sexual
violence among women (Forje, 2009). The extremity level of the torture does not
appear to have any correlation to the crime; all acts of torture are appalling
and inhumane. There is little Nigerians can do to prevent themselves from the
cruelty expressed from officers, simply because the power appears to be in
unconcerned hands.

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            Police
officers do not give opportunity for Nigerians to plea their case and prove
their innocence against a crime. In most cases, the officers’ accusations are
trusted as correct, and the victim is forced to suffer the consequences,
whether he or she is guilty. One victim, for example, was arrested simply for
looking like an armed robber, where he was then interrogated and forced against
his will to sign a statement claiming he was guilty (Maldar, 2005). People are
not given the right to even speak their innocence; they are instead tortured
until they confess to the crime against them. Serious long-term injuries and
even death are common results of the torture. The ruthless punishments and lack
of

            For
years, there has been a constant need for reform in Nigeria, as the violence
and torture towards citizens are clearly human rights abuse. In 2005, a reform
program was announced that promises to “improve intelligence and investigate
capacity, expand community policing, and change the philosophy and attitudes;”
however, the President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasan, does not seem interested in
exercising justice in the society (Maldar, 2005). There has also been a
reluctance from the British government to raise concerns about the torture with
Nigerian government. The Human Rights Watch is the main group contributing to
the reform efforts in Nigeria. An article titled “Combating Torture in Africa:
A Call on Governments and Civil Society” suggests a different reform approach
that relies on the support from the government and society. Author Gima Forje
iterates that “the role of civil society is raising awareness, monitoring,
and prevention and assisting of victims” and this role “cannot be
overemphasized” (Forje, 2009). In order for society to fulfill its role, there
must be a serene relationship between the government and civil society. Furthermore,
the government must grant civil society organizations “access to detention centers…with
relevant human rights instruments” (Forje, 2009). With the combined efforts of the
governments’ power and the society’s drive to restore peace back into humanity,
the potential to reinstate human rights for Nigerians is great.

            Among
all the problems Nigerians endure throughout society, the most severe is the torture
exercised by police figures. Not only are Nigerians suffering from vicious interrogation
methods, but they are also struggling to keep a grip on their deserved rights and
freedom as a human being. The crimes executed on people, both innocent and guilty,
are demeaning and corrupt, dehumanizing what is left of their optimism and integrity.