Victims Of Gunshot To Receive Immediate Treatment As Buhari Signs Act To Law

Posted on December 29, 2017

Respite comes at last for victims of gunshots in Nigeria as President Muhammadu Buhari Friday signed into law the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017 and Anti-Torture Act, 2017.

According to the letters of the Act, it is now compulsory that treatment and care should be given to victims of gunshots and other related matters. Specifically, the Act stipulates that 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. Furthermore, a person with a gunshot wound shall not be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment or torture by any person or authority, including the police and other security agencies.

Before now, victims of gunshots are rejected in the hospital, notwithstanding the extent of the injuries, as there were fears of Police harassment that those victims might be armed robbers. In many cases lives were being lost when prompt treatment was not administered on such victims.

Innocents victims who have been shot by robbers, must first be rushed to a police station to secure a police report, before they are rushed to the hospital for treatment.

The new law provides comprehensive provisions for penalizing the acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment, and prescribes penalties for the commission of such acts. Henceforth, victims of gunshot wounds receive necessary treatment from medical workers and assistance from security agencies.

The President also assented to the Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment) Amendment Act, 2017, The Federal Capital Appropriation Act, Federal Capital Territory Water Board (Establishment) Act, 2017 and National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (Establishment) Act.

The Niger Delta Development Commission (Establishment) Amendment Act, includes the gas producing and gas processing companies in the list of agencies that are contributing to the Niger Delta Development Commission in addition to the oil companies in a bid to increase funding of the commission for effective discharge of its duties.

Before now, the NDDC Act excluded the gas companies. The Act makes it explicit that the gas companies have to be included. This is to diversify the sources of funding for the NDDC for the economic wellbeing of the region.

The Federal Capital Appropriation Act authorises the Federal Capital Territory Administration to legally and legitimately provide funds out of its Statutory Revenue Fund for recurrent and capital expenditure.

The Federal Capital Territory Water Board Establishment Act ensures that the FCT is provided with safe, adequate and affordable water supply services. It is also to collaborate with the other authorities responsible for water resources management to secure efficient use of water resources for the conservation and protection of the water resources of the Territory and the nation.

The National Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment (Establishment) Act, 2017 is to provide national direction in cancer research, control and treatment; guide scientific improvements to cancer prevention, treatment and care, coordinate and liaise between the wide range of groups and health care providers with an interest in cancer.

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