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Lagos lawmakers pass victim, witnesses protection bill

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Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly on Thursday passed a bill to protect witnesses and victims in the state.

The bill when assented to by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu would become a law to provide for the rights and entitlements of victims and protection of witnesses and for connected purposes.

It 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.

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 immediate care and treatment.

It also stipulates that 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.”

The bill provides for a fine for any medical facility that fails to comply with the related sections 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,” the bill states

After the bill scaled the third reading, the speaker of the House, Rt ( Hon) Mudashiru Obasa, however, directed the Clerk of the House, Barr. Olalekan Onafeko, to send a clean copy to Sanwo-Olu for his assent.

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