In a significant move aimed at ensuring the immediate and unimpeded treatment of gunshot victims across Nigeria, the acting Inspector General of Police (IGP), Olukayode Egbetokun, has issued a directive to medical personnel, instructing them to provide medical care without requesting a police report.
This groundbreaking initiative, based on the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017, signifies a crucial step towards improving healthcare services and promoting public awareness in the country.
The directive was made public through an internal memo dated October 25, 2023, and was officially signed by the Force Principal Staff Officer, Olatunji Disu.
The memo was addressed to the highest-ranking officers within the Nigerian Police Force, including Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, Assistant Inspectors-General of Police, Commissioners of Police, and Commandants of Police Colleges in Ikeja, Kaduna, Oji-River, Maiduguri, and Enugu.
In the memorandum, it states: “I forward herewith a copy of letter HMSH&SW/IG/CTCV/ 10/2023 dated 3rd October 2023, received from the Federal Ministry of Health & Social Welfare on the above-underlined subject, and write to convey the directive of the Inspector-General of Police that you comply with and enforce the provisions of the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshot Act 2017 without any hesitation.”
The directive from IGP Egbetokun further emphasizes the need for the entire law enforcement community to engage in a concerted effort to educate and enlighten Nigerians about the importance of adhering to this essential aspect of the law. The directive reads, “The Inspector-General of Police further directs that you make this a subject of lecture and circulate widely for the members of the public to be aware of our compliance with the National Law.”
This move is expected to have a far-reaching impact on public health, as it ensures that gunshot victims will receive prompt and critical medical attention, potentially saving countless lives.