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Senate Investigates Death Of NYSC Member



Senate Chamber

Senate yesterday directed three of its committees to within two weeks to investigate the circumstances that led to the dastard killing of a female corps member, Nkechi Igwetu by police officers on Wednesday in Abuja

The three Senate Committees are the Youth and Sports; Health; and Police Affairs, respectively who are expected to report back in two weeks.

Similarly, the upper legislative chamber resolved to probe the lackadaisical attitude of the Garki General Hospital, Abuja that was supposed to treat the corps member, but allowed her to bleed to death while insisting on receiving police report before taking any action.

The senate resolution followed a motion moved by Senator Ali Atai Aidoko (PDP Kogi East) who came through Order 42 and 52 of its standing rule.

Leading debate on the motion, Senator Aidoko condemned the attitude of medical personnel at the hospital who he said refused to treat the deceased without police report despite existing law that gives them permission to attend to gunshot victims in the country.

He said: “With the assent to the compulsory treatment and care for victims of gunshot bill 2017 on December 30, victims of gunshot can now receive treatment in the hospital without police report. This is a bill that has been passed and assented. Despite this, two nights Miss Linda Angela, a corps member serving in Abuja was allegedly shot by police officers. The deceased was meant to pass out of the NYSC programme today (yesterday).

“She finished work late 11p.m. Tuesday and joined a few friends for a hang out before their passing out parade scheduled for today. She left for home around 3a.m. Wednesday and was shot shortly after the check point near Ceddi Plaza by a police officer who is well identified.

“Bullet hit her by the midrib and she began losing blood in the open roof of the vehicle. She was rushed to the hospital but they would not treat her until they see a police report despite the fact that police officers were present.

While the deliberation was going on, Angela bled and died”.

Contributing, Senator Mao Ohabunwa (PDP Abia North), stressed the need to call police officers and men to order on the way and manner they handle rifles, noting that there were many trigger happy policemen in the country.

“It is important we call police to order because we are having too many trigger-happy policemen and they use these purely on innocent citizens instead of using it on criminals. I would have been happy that those criminals who killed the seven policemen, maybe others would have gunned them down. I wonder and imagine the kind of trauma her family will be going through now, preparing to receive their daughter only to receive her corpse”, he said.

In his remarks, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki said the late corps member would have been saved if the hospital had taken her case as an emergency one without waiting for police even a bill to that effect had been passed and signed into law.

“If they treated her, she might not have bled to death. These are deaths that easily could have been avoided and I think until we start holding people accountable to this kind of incidents, they will not stop. Because what is the purpose of we passing the bill, the president assented to it and still hospitals will decide that. Is it that they are not well informed that such law exists.

“It’s important for us in the Senate to show that every Nigerian’s life is important, especially young ones that are just about to start their lives. It’s a loss that could have easily been avoided. We must continue to do our best to see how we can defend our people and let them know that their lives do matter”, he said.