By DanJuma Aliyu and Adenike Lucas
The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday introduced a bill that would protect gunshot victims.
The bill, called Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Bill, will allow victims of gunshot wounds receive treatment from medical workers without a need for police clearance.
Under the new legislation “security agents shall render every possible assistance to any person with gunshot wounds and ensure that the person is taken to the nearest hospital for treatment.”
The law “mandates that no person with gunshot wounds shall be refused immediate and adequate treatment by any hospital in Nigeria whether or not initial monetary deposit is paid.”
Senator Bukola Saraki who led a 1-minute silence for the families and victims impacted by the floods in Niger and Lagos States, stated “that not every victim of a gunshot wound is a criminal, hence, it is important that a legal framework be put into place to avoid unnecessary loss of lives.”
“By the passage of this Bill, the Senate has moved to ensure that every hospital in Nigeria, both public and private, must accept to treat victims of gunshot wounds without any clearance from the police,” the Senate President said.
He added: “What we have done is to ensure that everyone is entitled to medical treatment, irrespective of the cause of the shooting. We should reserve judgment for the criminal justice system, and leave healthcare for the medical professionals.”
Meanwhile, the Senate President has sworn in the latest member of the upper legislative chamber, Senator Ademola Adeleke.
Senator Ademola, who replaces his deceased brother, Senator Isiaka Adeleke at the Senate won nine out of 10 of the LGAs in the recently concluded Osun West Senatorial District by-election.