The Senate, on Thursday, resolved to investigate circumstances surrounding the death of an NYSC member, Miss Linda Angela Igwetu, serving in the FCT, who was allegedly shot by a police officer.
Igwetu was supposed to join other members of her batch of the National Youth Service Corps, to pass out today, before her unfortunate death two nights ago.
Citing Order 42 and 52, the senator representing Kogi-East, Atai Aidoko, raised the issue, stating that, while on her way home with her friends, the corps member was shot and rushed to Garki hospital, Abuja but was not treated because they needed a police report.
Aidoko urged his colleagues to mandate relevant standing committees of the Senate to investigate the incident, with the view to unravelling the circumstances behind the death.
He said, “Mr. President, from the onset, with the assent of the compulsory treatment of gunshot victims bill in December 2017. Victims of gunshot and car accidents can now receive immediate treatment in the hospitals without police report.
“Mr. President, this was a bill that was passed and the President assented to it. But despite this, Mr. President, two nights ago, Miss Linda Angela Igwetu, serving in Abuja was allegedly shot by a trigger-happy police officer.
“The deceased was to pass out from the National youth Service Corps, NYSC, programme today July 5, after a compulsory one year service in Abuja.
“Her place of primary assignment was at one company at Mabuchi, an outskirts of Abuja metropolis. She finished work late 11pm Tuesday, and joined a few friends for a hangout in excitement of her expected pass out scheduled today.
“She left for home around 2am Wednesday and was shot near Ceddi plaza around Area 10 by a police officer who was well identified. The bullet shot Angela on her side inside a vehicle and, she began oozing out blood.
“She was rushed to a hospital. But they refused to treat her until they see a police report. Despite the fact that they saw the presence of some police officers. And while the deliberation was going on, Angela passed out.”
Contributing to the motion, Senator Mao Ohuabunwa said, “I wonder the kind of trauma that her family will be passing through now as they were already preparing and expecting to welcome their daughter after the NYSC programme only to receive her remains. It could be quite traumatic”.
The Senate therefore mandated its Committees on Youth and Sports, to investigate the death of the NYSC member. The lawmakers also want the Committee on Health to investigate the non-treatment of the patient, as well as Committee on Police Affairs to investigate the cause of the incident.
All three Committees have been directed to report back to the Senate in 2 weeks.
Speaking before ruling on the motion, the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki queried how a Police officer could have “mistakenly or otherwise shot in such a way that led to this young lady’s death”?
He also berated the hospital management that refused to offer medical attention which led to the death of the young NYSC member.
Saraki said, “we have passed this Compulsory Treatment and Care of Victims of Gunshots Act, and the President assented to it on the 30th of December 2017, meanwhile, they took the young lady to a hospital and they did not treat her.
“If they treated her, she would not have bled to death. Until we start holding people accountable to these kinds of incidents, they will not stop.
“What is the point of us passing a Bill, and the President assenting to it, then it becomes law, and still, people will decide that they will not treat a patient.
“Is it that they are not well-informed? Is it that they were not aware that such a law exists? There are a number of issues that we need to address.
“Every Nigerian life is important. Especially young ones that are just about to start their own lives and careers. This is a loss that could have been avoided.
“We must continue to show that we will continue to defend our people and defend them here. Let us stand and observe a one-minute silence for Miss. Linda,” the Senate President said.
The Senate thereafter observed a one-minute silence for Miss Linda Angela Igwetu