Father of corps member shot by police seeks prosecution of Garki hospital
The father of Nkechi Igwetu, the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member who was shot dead by a police officer in Abuja, has called for an investigation and prosecution of Garki hospital.
Ms. Igwetu was shot by a police officer around Ceddi plaza in Central Area, Abuja, and taken to Garki Hospital for treatment.
Allegations had been made against the hospital that the medical personnel on ground when Ms. Igwetu arrived did not treat her immediately but instead demanded a police report and cash payment.
Garki Hospital, in a statement signed by its medical director, Essen Nyomudim, denied the claims.
A PREMIUM TIMES reporter, July 6, who viewed the CCTV footage of July 4 for over an hour from about 3:12 a.m. also saw that the victim was taken into the trauma room (a room in the Accidents and Emergency section of the hospital) almost immediately the vehicle arrived the hospital premises.
Although, the reporter could not see the happenings inside the Trauma room, the footage showed that at least three medical personnel were inside the Trauma Room since the patient arrived (some came out to pick things and went back in almost immediately). Therefore, PREMIUM TIMES cannot tell what exactly happened within the room.
On Thursday, a letter dated July 12 was addressed to the Commissioner of Police, FCT Police Command, to request investigation and prosecution of Garki Hospital from the solicitors of Geoffery Igwetu, the father of the deceased.
The letter, from Simphil Associates, sent to PREMIUM TIMES, Thursday, said the hospital refused to promptly administer the treatment on the grounds that the deposit of the sum of N50, 000 be made before any medical intervention would be rendered to her.
“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.
“Even after the Divisional Police Officer from the Central Area Police Division of your Command arrived and reportedly deposited the sum of twenty thousand naira cash with the promise of personally ensuring the payment of the balance of thirty thousand. the hospital still could not conduct a simple medical examination on our Client’s daughter,” the letter said.
The letter pointed out that the alleged conditions put forth by the hospital before treating Ms Igwetu were contrary to the provisions of the Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Act signed into Law President Muhammadu Buhari signed on Decemner 20, 2017
Accordimg to the letter,
“The said Law in Section 3(i) 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.
“Again. the said Act expressly stated in Section 15 that in the case of a “Corporate body being guilty of an offence under the Act, the Head of the Body shall be prosecuted in accordance with the provisions of Sections 11 and 13.
“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 of the hospital on duty on the early hours of JuIy 4, 2017 for their failure to comply with the extant laws that make it compulsory that people in the situation such as Late Miss Nkechi found herself are treated timeously.
“Our Client strongly believes that prompt Medicare could have saved the life of his daughter, Late Angela Nkechi igwetu,” the letter signed by Obunike Ohaegbu requested. (Premium Times)