By Tony Akowe, Abuja
The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill that will compel hospitals in the country to treat victims of gunshot other weapons and grievous bodily harm.
The House in session also confirmed the nomination of Major General Farouk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff following the presentation of a report by the House Committee on Defence and Army.
The bill titled “a Bill for an Act to Amend the Compulsory Treatment and Care for Victims of Gunshots Act, to Expand and bring the Long Title in Conformity with the actual Intendment of the Bill, Provide Stiff Punitive Measures to Checkmate Violations; and for Related Matters is sponsored by Olawale Raji.
The House also recommended a fine of one million naira for any healthcare provider that fails to report victims of gunshot wounds to security agencies while treating them, saying while there is the need to save life, there is also the need to curb criminality in the country.
Chairman, House Committee on Healthcare Services, Yusuf Sununu (APC-Kebbi) who presented a report on the bill to the House said that the bill when passed into law will ensure victims of gunshots, chemical attacks and other bodily harm have access to healthcare.
Even though the report recommended N1,000, 000 as a fine, Deputy Speaker, Ahmed Idris Wase who presided over the sitting said that the N1, 000, 000 fine is too small for such an omission as it will no curb criminality.
Presenting the report of the Joint Committee on Defence and Army on the screening of Gen. Yahaya, Chairman of the Defence Committee, Bamidele Salam said the new Army Chief was asked questions in areas such as civil/military relationship, submission to civil authority among others.
He said following the responses from the Army Chief, the Committee came to the conclusion that the House should confirm him as the new Chief of Army Staff.
Salam said “the House do consider the Report of the Committees on Defence and Army on the Confirmation of Appointment of the Chief of Army Staff and approve the recommendation therein.
“That Major General Faruk Yahaya be confirmed as the Chief of Army Staff of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having successfully undergone the screening process of the Committee.”