By Ameh Ejekwonyilo
The family of the late Miss Angela Nkechi Igwetu, a corps member who was killed by a policeman in Abuja recently, has urged the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Commissioner, Mr. Sadiq Bello, to investigate the alleged delay in the treatment of the deceased by the management of the Garki General Hospital.
In a petition to the police commissioner through his lawyer, Mr. Obunike Ohaegbu, the grieving father of the deceased, Chief Geoffrey Igwetu, accused the hospital of declining to promptly administer the treatment on the ground that a deposit of N50, 000 be made before any medical intervention would be rendered to his late daughter.
He said: “They reportedly rejected an offer of transfer of the said sum to their account and insisted on production of the money in cash. Regrettably, the hospital watched our client’s daughter die slowly.”
The family which said it was still in shock of the tragic death of their daughter, demanded for the prosecution of the hospital’s chief medical director and other members of staff, found culpable in the incident.
According to the petition, the condition by Garki Hospital as a pre-condition before the deceased Nkechi could be treated and the eventual refusal to give her the required medical treatment was contrary to the provisions of the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Act signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2017.
Section 3(i) of the law, according to him, states: “…no person with gunshot wound shall be refused immediate and adequate treatment by any hospital in Nigeria whether…not initial monetary deposit is paid.”
In addition, Section 13 provides that, “any person or authority including any police officer or other security agents or hospital who stands by or omits to do his bit which results in the unnecessary death of any person with bullet wounds commits an offence and shall on conviction be liable to five years imprisonment or a fine of N500,000 or both.”
“In view of the above, it is our brief to demand that you investigate the above allegations for the possible prosecution of the Chief Medical Director (CMD) and other staff members of the hospital on duty on the early hours of July 4, 2018 for their failure to comply with the extant laws that make it compulsory that people in the situation such as the late Miss Nkechi found herself are treated timeously. Our client strongly believes that prompt medicare could have saved the life of his daughter,” the petition read.