Edited By Oduyemi Odumade
The House of Representatives has described as timely the directive by the Inspector General of Police that hospitals in the country should attend to victims of gun shot wounds without first demanding a police report.
In a statement jointly signed In Abuja by the Chairman of the House Commitee on Police Affairs, Mr. Makki Yalleman and his counterpart on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Akin Rotimi, the House also urged the Police and the Nigeria Medical Association to comply with the directive to ensure that persons with gun shot wounds are promptly attended to in compliance with extant laws.
According to the statement,
the House notes that the new directive and the law should be a subject of public lecture to avoid any form of ignorance in future.
The statement reads: “the House of Representatives welcomes the recent publicised signal from the Office of the Inspector-General of Police to various formations and commands of the Nigeria Police Force, on the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act 2017.
“The internal memo dated October 25, 2023 directed the Officers to comply with the law and enforce its provision without hesitation.
“Worthy of note in the memo signed by the IGP’s Principal Staff Officer, CSP Olatunji Disu, is the directive to the various police formations and commands to “make the law a subject of lecture” in order to cure the ignorance in many hospitals about the position of the law, which unfortunately has led to the loss of many lives.
“It is to be noted that issues around compliance with the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of the Gunshot Act recently became a subject of public discourse following the death of Ms. Greatness Olorunfemi, a brilliant Nigerian who was victim of a One-Chance_ robbery in Abuja on Tuesday, September 26, 2023.
“A petition was laid before the House in respect of this incident during plenary on Tuesday, October 10, 2023, by member representing Ukwa East/West Federal Constituency of Abia State
Mr. Chris Nkwonta. The matter is now before the House Committee on Public Petitions.
“To be clear, the House maintains that the professional calling of physicians, nurses, and emergency care personnel, as well as dictates of extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, prescribes that every Nigerian brought to any hospital deserves the duty of care, stabilisation, and dignity, regardless of the condition they are brought in, or the apparent cause of the distress or trauma.
“The House therefore views this development from the Nigeria Police Force as timely and commendable considering rising complaints by Nigerians about hospitals that decline prompt treatment of victims of gunshot incidents, robberies, and even vehicular accidents who do not present police reports.
“The IG’s action offers relief that value is placed on the life of every citizen, and restores confidence in our hospitals.
“The House urges the Nigeria Police and the Nigeria Medical Association to follow through on this commitment to strict compliance with the Act and prosecute offenders who contravene the same. We also call on the Media and relevant agencies of the Executive Arm of Government to give wide publicity to this matter“.
Written by: Blessing Nyor
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