The Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to protect witnesses and victims in the state.
The ‘bill for a law to provide for the rights and entitlements of victims and protection of witnesses and for connected purposes’ was passed during plenary presided over by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Obasa.
The bill stipulates provision of assistance and protection to victims and witnesses who have vital information that could help ensure effective prosecution of cases, but who face intimidation due to their cooperation with the prosecution or law enforcement agencies.
A part of the bill further states: “Every person, including security agents shall render assistance to victims of accidents or crimes and ensure that such persons are taken to the nearest hospital for immediatecare and treatment.
“A public or private hospital shall provide immediate and adequate treatment to an accident victim or any person with gunshot and severe injuries or wounds.”
It stipulates a fine for any medical facility that fails to comply with the related section of the bill.
“A private hospital that receives accident victims with severe injuries or wounds for treatment under this section must inform the agency within Forty-Eight (48) hours of his admission, and forward a request for reimbursement of medical expenses where family members or relations cannot be identified or where the victim is indigent, and subject to the approval of the request by the agency, it shall forward records of the treatment to the agency.
“A hospital or medical facility that fails to comply with the provisions of subsections (1) or (2) of this section commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction to afine not exceeding One Million Naira (N1,000,000.00) and where the victim’s life is lost due to inability to treat the victim or negligence on the part of the health officer, the officer shall be duly prosecuted for the death of the victim,” the bill states.
With the bill scaling a third reading during plenary, the Speaker directed the Clerk of the House, Barr. Olalekan Onafeko, to send a clean copy to the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his assent.