IGP Directs Health Workers to Treat Gunshot Victims Without Police Report
The acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Olukayode Egbetokun, has directed medical personnel across the country to treat gunshot victims without asking for a police report.
The IGP’s directive, which is based on the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017, was contained in an internal police memo dated October 25, 2023, and signed by the Force Principal Staff Officer, Olatunji Disu.
The memo was addressed to all Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, Commissioners of Police, and the Commandants of Police Colleges in Ikeja, Kaduna, Oji-River, Maiduguri, and Enugu.
Egbetokun urged health workers to sensitize Nigerians about the issue, emphasizing that everyone is entitled to medical treatment, regardless of the cause of the gunshot wound.
“The life of the victim is more important than any other consideration,” he said. “The police will investigate the matter later.”
The Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017, was enacted to address the problem of hospitals refusing to treat gunshot victims without a police report.
This was a major obstacle to saving lives, as many victims died from their injuries before they could reach the hospital.
The law mandates all health facilities, both public and private, to accept victims of gunshot for immediate treatment without a police report.
Any health worker who violates the law is liable to a fine of not more than N100,000 or imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or both.
The IGP’s directive is a welcome step towards ensuring that all gunshot victims receive the medical attention they need, regardless of their circumstances.
It is also a reminder of the importance of the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017.