Lagos Assembly passes bill for effective prosecution of court cases

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By Adekunle Williams

Ikeja, Sept. 22, 2022 The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed a protection bill to provide for the rights and entitlement of victims and protect witnesses during court proceedings for effective prosecution of cases

The lawmakers passed the bill on Thursday during its plenary session presided over by the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, after it had scaled the third reading

The bill is titled:”’Bill for a Law to Provide for the Rights and Entitlements of Victims and Protection of Witnesses and for Connected Purposes.”

Obasa noted that the bill stipulated the provision of assistance and protection for victims and witnesses who had vital information.

The speaker explained that the vital information referred to genuine information that could ensure effective prosecution of cases.

He also explained that such victims and witnesses were those likely to face intimidation due to their cooperation with the prosecution or law enforcement agencies.

“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.

“A public or private hospital shall provide immediate and adequate treatment to an accident victim or any person with gunshots and sustained severe injuries or wounds.

“The bill stipulates a fine for any medical facility that fails to comply with the related section of the bill,” he said.

Obasa said that a private hospital that received accident victims with severe injuries or wounds for treatment under this section must inform security agencies within 48 hours of admission.

He added that the hospital must forward a request for reimbursement of medical expenses where family members or relations cannot be identified or where the victim was indigent.

The speaker said this was also subject to the approval of such a request by the security agency in question.

Obasa, therefore, directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Olalekan Onafeko, to send a clean copy of the bill to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for his assent.