Tragedy greeted the people of Gbagada area of Lagos state when a young woman, Moradeun Balogun; lost her life as a result of an armed robbery attack and stabbed on her neck on Monday evening.
1st News learnt that the hospital where they rushed the deceased to allegedly refused to treat her; because the doctor on duty requested for a police report; but the bystanders could not provide any at the moment.
The robbery incident occurred Monday evening; while the lady, a podcast host, was returning from work.
They stabbed on the neck by her attackers;and was rushed to R. Jolad Hospital located at New Garage, 1, Akindele Road, Gbagada, where she died on Tuesday morning; following the hospital’s alleged refusal to commence treatment without a police report.
What the constitution states about such incidence
In the Nigeria constitution, the right to life is a constitutional right as provided for in Section 33(1). Then, Section 20 of the National Health Act, 2014 clearly states that a healthcare provider; health worker or establishment shall not refuse a person on emergency treatment for any reason.
Violation of the law attracts a fine of N100,000 or a jail term of six months or both. Aside this law, the federal government in 2017 enacted the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act which provides in Section 11; a five-year jail term or N500,000 fine or both for any authority or person whose omission results in the unnecessary death of a gunshot victim.
Section One of the same law mandates hospitals to receive and treat victims of gunshot wounds with or without police clearance and with or without initial deposit; but to ensure that a report is made at the nearest police station; within two hours of commencement of treatment. The law also provides that the High Court of the State or Federal High Court (FCT) can in addition to the punishment, award compensation to the victim’s family.
Hospital denied allegation
The said hospital denied the allegation. It said the woman was assessed by two doctors; and immediately referred to General Hospital Gbagada for vascular surgery.
According to the hospital’s report made available to newsmen; it stated that: “At R-Jolad hospital, our primary purpose has always been to save lives each time we encounter both difficult and less difficult situations. We do this for all sort of cases; and all sort of people including *gunshot victims*; without requesting for any police report as a requirement to be met before attending to the case.
“The most recent example (reflecting our intervention protocol) at hand was about a patient; that was rushed to our facility on emergency yesterday December 2.
“In the first place, the patient was not a victim of gunshot. It was a stabbed wound. Below is the detail:
“The patient was brought in by four good Samaritans around 07:19 pm and was attended to by two doctors whose assessment indicated that the patient needed immediate attention of a vascular surgeon.
“The patient was therefore referred to the closest hospital, Gbagada General Hospital in one of the available vehicles at the spot; since the ambulance was yet to return from a medical assignment. The vehicle departed exactly 07:26pm.
Gbagada General Hospital received the patient.
“We remain true and committed to our core values which place premium and value on human lives.”
Police wade in
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police Command has urged the deceased’s family to visit the command for further information that would aid the investigation.
The police spokesman, Bala Elkana told newsmen that police report was not a requirement to treat victims of gunshot or any injury at all.
He said: “No police clearance at the time an injured person is brought to a hospital. Their duty is to receive and safe lives first; and then report to police within two hours. It is no longer an excuse that there is no police clearance.
“Some of gunshot victims maybe innocent bystanders. Even if it is an armed robber; the law presumes all innocent until proven guilty. The police have made clear statements on several occasions about this.
“The IG has consistently warned that on no account should any hospital reject a victim for lack of police report. And a public statement issued in this regard. Hospitals have a duty to accept emergency cases and treat them.
“We encourage the deceased’s family to come forward with details of what happened in this case. We are advising hospitals that they should follow laws of the land and ensure that their primary duty is to save lives. Saving lives come first before law enforcement because the person has to be alive to answer for his or her charges.”
Moradeun’s friends and family demand justice
The deceased’s friends and family took to twitter to express their grievances and also demand for justice.
Read tweets below: