By Funmilayo Olagunju
By the provisions of THE COMPULSORY TREATMENT AND CARE FOR VICTIMS OF GUNSHOT ACT 2017 (subsequently referred to as The Act) , victim of gunshot is entitled to prompt medical intervention and treatment with or without police clearance (police report).
“As from the enactment of this Act, every Hospital in Nigeria whether public or private shall accept or receive, for immediate and adequate treatment with or without police clearance, any person with a gunshot wound”
Sec 1 of the Act
(a) A person with a gunshot wound shall be received for immediate and adequate treatment by any Hospital in Nigeria with or without initial monetary deposit, and
(b) a person with a gunshot shall not be subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment or torture by any person or authority including the police or other security agencies”
Sec 2 of the Act.
The Act further provides that the Hospital shall inform the Police within Two hours after commencement of treatment on the person with Gunshot wound. The Police shall initiate an investigation into the cause and shall not obstruct the treatment of the person with Gunshot wound. Until the Medical director deem the patient fit, he shall not be invited for investigation by the Police.
Contravention of these provision and other provisions of the Act is punishable with tangible Fine, imprisonment (with or without option of fine) and Restitution for the offender (Corporate Bodies and/ or natural persons).
The fear of being incriminated keeps many people away from helping Gunshot victims. The Act protects the right of volunteers;
“Every volunteer or helper of a victim of gunshot shall be treated with respect and shall not be subjected to unnecessary and embarrassing interrogation in their genuine attempt to save life”
Sec 8 of the Act
“So then, if we do not do the good we know we should do, we are guilty of sin”
James 4:17 (GNT).