The Nigerian Senate has given three of its committees two weeks to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of a female corps member, Nkechi Igwetu.
Ms Igwetu was allegedly shot by police officers in Abuja Wednesday morning.
Though the police said they are investigating the matter, the Senate has launched its probe to determine the circumstances that led to the shooting and lackadaisical attitude of the hospital that was supposed to treat the corps member.
Coming under order 42 and 52, embattled senator, Atai Aidoko, presented the case to his colleagues.
Mr Aidoko was particularly vexed on the attitude of medical personnel at the Garki General Hospital who he said refused to treat the deceased without police report.
“With the assent to the compulsory treatment and care for victims of gunshot bill 2017 on December 30, victims of gunshot can now receive treatment in the hospital without police report. This is a bill that has been passed and assented. Despite this, two nights Miss Linda Angela, a corps member serving in Abuja was allegedly shot by police officers. The deceased was meant to pass out of the NYSC program today.
“She finished work late 11p.m. Tuesday and joined a few friends for a hang out before their passing out parade scheduled for today. She left for home around 3a.m. Wednesday and was shot shortly after the check point near Ceddi Plaza by a police officer who is well identified.
“Bullet hit her by the midrib and she began losing blood in the open roof of the vehicle. She was rushed to the hospital but they would not treat her until they see a police report despite the fact that police officers were present. While the deliberation was going on, Angela bled and died.”
Contributing, Mao Ohabunwa (Abia-PDP), blamed the incident on the police.
He said, “It is important we call police to order because we are having too many trigger-happy policemen and they use this purely on innocent citizens instead of using it on criminals. I would have been happy that those criminals who killed the seven policemen, maybe others would have gunned them down. I wonder and imagine the kind of trauma her family will be going through now, preparing to receive their daughter only to receive her corpse.”
Senate President Bukola Saraki said the death could have been avoided if the content of the compulsory treatment and care for victims of gunshot bill was adhered to.
“If they treated her, she might not have bled to death. These are deaths that easily could have been avoided and I think until we start holding people accountable to this kind of incidents, they will not stop. Because what is the purpose of we passing the bill, the president assented to it and still hospitals will decide that. Is it that they are not well informed that such law exists.
“It’s important for us in the Senate to show that every Nigerian’s life is important, especially young ones that are just about to start their lives. It’s a loss that could have easily been avoided. We must continue to do our best to see how we can defend our people and let them know that their lives does matter,” he said.
The lawmakers resolved to mandate the Senate committees on Youth and Sports, Health and Police Affairs to investigate the cause of the incident and report back in two weeks.
The lawmakers also held a one-minute silence in honour of the deceased.
Credit: Premium Times