Stop Harassing Nigerian Lawyers, Citizens - NBA-SPIDEL Tells Security Agencies

NBA-SPIDEL Decries Assassination Of Lawyers, Vows To Set Example For Nigerian Hospitals On Bullet Wounds

5 mins read

NBA-SPIDEL, a special arm of the Nigerian body of lawyers – the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) – has vowed to use the circumstances surrounding the death of a colleague, Mr Stephen Enyinnaya Eze of Nyanya-Karu NBA Branch, to set enduring example for Nigerian hospitals which refuse to treat patients presenting bullet wounds.

Abuja-based Mr Eze, who was recently assassinated in the presence of some of his family members, was said to have been rushed to several hospitals in Abuja  while still  breathing but was rejected by the medical officers on duty on account of the fact that he was carrying bullet wounds.

A statement signed by NBA-SPIDEL Chairman, Dr Monday Ubani, acknowledged Nigeria’s ‘Compulsory Treatment And Care for Victims of Gunshot Act, 2017’, which  ‘‘outlaws such evil practice of rejecting patients who are shot by any person including criminals  in Nigeria.’’

NBA-SPIDEL, while condemning Eke’s killing by criminals, demanded quick intervention by security agencies to track and bring the killers to justice.

The lawyers called out the various hospitals that refused, rejected and neglected to treat the victim when he was still alive, citing  gunshot wound as reason.

‘‘This rejection to treat,’’ according to NBA-SPIDEL, ‘‘is not only criminal and callous but a clear breach of the ethics of the medical profession that mandates the medical personnel to save lives first, irrespective of the condition of the patient with gunshot wounds.

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The  NBA-SPIDEL statement further reads:

‘‘We as an NBA  Section regard this as a monumental professional failure on the part of the hospitals and their doctors, and we promise to  use this case as a test case to teach the the hospitals and their personnel  a good lesson that we have laws governing victims that sustain bullet wounds in Nigeria. The law prescribes  that they should be admitted and treated first with a subsequent report made available  to the security agencies.

”Having failed to uphold the law and acting contrarily, which led to the untimely death of Late Mr Stephen Eke, we will faithfully  hold those hospitals  accountable to the law.

”We are hereby requesting Nyanya-Karu Branch of the NBA where Mr Late Eze belonged to supply NBA-SPIDEL with the names and addresses of the various hospitals that refused to treat Mr Late Eke when he was rushed to them for treatment.

”We promise to immediately commence both criminal and civil proceedings against them on behalf of the Nigerian Bar Association.We are prepared as a body  to stop the wanton wastage of lives in Nigeria especially lives that can be saved by those in a position to do so.

”This latest death of Mr Late Eke is one too many. We are also aware that a colleague, one Mr Nathan Akatakpo in Port Harcourt was also assassinated within the week after the killers may have snuffed live out of his client a day before his death. It is sad and disheartening  that Port Harcourt in Rivers State  is now becoming notorious for criminalities perpetrated against legal practitioners. In the last 3 years or so, many lawyers have either been kidnapped or killed senselessly within that environment.

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”We  condemn the killings and urge the State and Federal Government to ensure that  the killers of our colleagues be brought to book expeditiously.

”Finally, we  urge drastic action from all major stakeholders to halt these wantom killings of lawyers who are just performing their professional duties and does not deserve to be killed  as is the case presently. Enough is enough!”

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Uduegbunam Chukwujama
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