The right to live is a universally recognized right for all human beings. It is a fundamental right which governs all existing rights. In the absence of the right to life, all other fundamental rights have no reason to exist. For children, the right to life is the chance to be able to live and have the possibility to grow, to develop and become adults from birth, all children have the right to have their life protected. As provided for under the children and young persons’ law. The right of a child to life against the right of his parents to veto such right in vindication of their religious conscience, the overriding consideration should be, the best interest of the child.
In Esabunor and Anor V. Faweya and Ors (2019) LPELR 46961 (SC), the 2nd appellant who is the mother of the 1st appellant gave birth to him on April 19, 1997 at the Chevron clinic, Lekki Peninsula in Lagos. Within a month of his birth, he fell gravely ill. He was taken back to the clincic by his mother for urgent treatment. The 1st respondent treated the 1st appellant, and discovered that the 1st appellant needed urged blood transfusion. The mother of the child and her husband made it abundantly clear on no account should their child be given a blood transfusion. Their reason being that there were several lazards that follow blood transfusion such as contracting Aids, Hapatis etc and as members of the Jehovah Witness sect; blood transfusion was forbidden by their religion
Dr Tunde Faweya (the 1st respondent) remained unyielding. The next day the learned counsel for the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State moved an originating Motion Exparte before the 5th respondent. The motion was brought under section 27(1) and (30) of the children and young person’s law Cap 25 of Lagos State the relief sought was “that the medical authorities of the clinic of Chevron Nigeria Limited Lekki Peninsulas Lagos be allowed and are hereby permitted to do all and anything necessary, for the protection of the life and health of the child Tega Esabunor and for such further order or orders as the court may deem fit to make in the circumstances”.
The Chief Magistrate granted the application and the 1st respondent administered blood transfusion on the 1st appellant and he got well and was discharged. The 2nd appellant fited an application on notice wherein she sought for the setting aside of the order. The said application was unsuccessful. Dissatisfied with the proceedings before the Chief Magistrate, they approached the high court for an order of certiorari and damages of N10 million. The learned trial judge refused their prayers and claims. On appeal to the Court of Appeal the decision of the High Court was affirmed.
On further appeal to the Supreme Court the Supreme Court held that an adult who is conscious and in full control of his mental capacity and of sound mind has the right to either accept or refuse blood. The hospital has no choice but to respect their patient’s choice. When it involves a child the court stated that a child is incapable of making decisions for himself and the law is duty bound to protect such a person from abuse of his rights as he may grow up and disregard those religious beliefs. It makes no difference if the decision to deny him blood transfusion is made by his parents. See M. D P.D.T.V Okankwo (2001) 7NWLR (pt 711) P. 206. The Supreme Court held that when a competent parent or one in loco parentis refuses blood transfusion on religious ground, the court should step in, consider the baby’s welfare i.e saving the life and the best interest of the child, before a decision is taken. These considerations according to the court outweigh religious beliefs of the Jehovah Witness sect. The decision should be to allow blood transfusion especially in life threatening situations.
Nkechi Bright Ewere
Buhari Meets PSC Members, Receives 2018 Annual Report …As Police Confirm Death Of ACP Zubairu
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with members of the Police Service Commission at the State House, Abuja.
The Tide reports that the agenda of the meeting between the president and members of the commission included the presentation of the 2018 Annual Report of the police commission.
At the meeting, the president also waded into the reported misunderstanding between the Office of the Inspector-General of Police and the Police Service Commission over the recruitment of 10,000 personnel.
President Buhari had in 2016 approved the recruitment of 10,000 policemen as part of fresh measures to address the nation’s security challenges including banditry, kidnapping and the farmers/herdsmen clashes across the country.
Meanwhile, the Police Command in Sokoto State has confirmed the sudden death of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Sulaiman Zubairu last Sunday.
The Police Public Relation Officer, ASP Muhammad Sadiq who confirmed the death to newsmen in Sokoto, Monday, said ACP Zabairu was in the state to supervise the screening of candidates for the on-going recruitment into Nigeria Police Force.
“He finished his assignment on Sunday and was planning to depart for Abuja on Monday,’’ he said.
He said the deceased would be buried on Tuesday in Sokoto and prayed that the soul rest in peace.
Rivers Police Link Serial Killings To Cultism
The Rivers State Police Commissioner, Mr Mustapha Dandaura, has said that the serial killing of young women in parts of the state in recent times is cult related.
Dandaura made the disclosure while briefing newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
He explained that the victims were always rapped with white cloth material around the neck or waist region, which he said signified cult action.
The state Police boss, said that the suspects usually drug their victims before strangulating them to death.
According to him, with- out such action, it would be difficult to kill the victims as the act may attract attention of nearby people.
As a panacea, he said all hotel operators have been ordered to mount a Circuit Cable Television (CCTV) system in their premises.
He explained that the system would help in regulating activities within and around the hotel area.
Another solution, he provided, was compulsory training of all personnel and security staff of hotels which must be carried out by the Police.
Dandaura maintained that forthwith, all hotel customers would be profiled, with their valid identification cards placed at the reception unit.
“All hotel customers will be profiled. Those with swimming pools will also have expert divers in case of any emergency,” he said.
The Rivers State CP. pointed out that a task force comprising the Police, DSS and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture was also on ground to ensure that the recent serial killing of young women in hotels in the state was not repeated.
“We now have a task force, no more short-time service in hotels. Every customer must book full time,” he added.
Meanwhile, he said that one of the suspects the command arrested last Monday in Port Harcourt was helping the police with useful information about the activities of other suspects in the state.
The Tide learnt that some women groups in the state like the National Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ) and others have concluded plans to stage protest in the state today.
Nigeria, UAE Move To Boost Security Agencies’ Capacity
Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have agreed to continue to work collaboratively to build the capacity of security agencies under Nigeria’s Ministry of Interior.
The ministry made this known in a statement by Director of Press and Public Relations of the Ministry of Interior, Mr Mohammed Manga, on Monday.
According to the ministry, the collaboration is part of efforts to strengthen internal security in Nigeria.
Manga said that the two countries renewed the commitment last Monday in Abuja when the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Fahad Altaffag visited the Interior Minister, Rauf Aregbesola.
Speaking during the visit, Aregbesola noted that strengthening the relationship between the two countries which had existed for years, would further boost the efforts of the President Muhammadu Buhari- led administration at ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians.
“Collaboration on security between the Nigerian Ministry of Interior and the UAE Ministry of Interior will strengthen the government’s capacity to solve internal security challenges in Nigeria,” the minister said.
He assured that Nigeria would continue to collaborate with the UAE in the areas of capacity building, educational development, fire disaster management, intelligence gathering, and border security management.
He observed that the security system of the UAE was never in doubt and as such, Nigeria could learn a lot from the country.
“When we have intellectual and physical capacities, we will not only overcome security challenges, but also neutralise them,” he reiterated.
Earlier, Altaffag said his country had in the past held discussions with Nigeria on ways to work together to solve internal security issues in Nigeria.
He said that his visit was to concretise the existing cooperation between the two countries on security matters with a view to providing the necessary support needed by the Buhari administration to create the environment conducive for foreign investment inflow to revitalise the economy.
The ambassador pledged his country’s support for the Nigerian government in its resolve to ensure the security of lives and property of Nigerinas toward moving the country to the next level of socio-economic development.
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