The House of Representatives has commended the directive of the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, to various formations and commands of the Nigeria Police Force on the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017.
The Eagle Online recalls that Egbetokun gave the directive last week in a statement by the Force Headquarters.
The position of the House was contained in a statement jointly signed by Rep. Makki Yalleman, Chairman of the House Committee on Police Affairs, and Rep. Akin Rotimi, Chairman of the House Committee on Media and Public Affairs.
The statement said: “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 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 Hon. Chris Nkwonta representing Ukwa East/West Federal Constituency of Abia State. 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.”