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Lagos establishes 1st DNA forensic lab in Nigeria

Three years ago 28263 views by  Soonest Nathaniel – Lagos state government has made final arrangements to establish the first DNA forensic laboratory in Nigeria – The laboratory will be called the Lagos State DNA Forensics Centre (LSDFC) – The LSDFC is to help in the war against domestic, sexual and violent crimes In furtherance of its commitment to the criminal justice sector reforms and take the fight against crime to a greater level, the Lagos State Government (LSG) on Tuesday, February 23, announced that it has concluded plans to establish the first ever high-powered DNA forensic laboratory in Nigeria. The Lab which will take off within the next six to twelve months would be called the Lagos State DNA Forensics Centre (LSDFC), when fully operational. It would fulfill an unmet need for DNA profiling which is a unique forensic technique that is now being used all over the world. READ ALSO: Photos: thief caught after trying to steal iPhone, beaten up by the local people Governor Ambode says he is poised to eradicate crime from within the Lagos metropolis Addressing journalists at the Bagauda Kaltho press centre in Alausa on Tuesday, the state attorney general and commissioner for justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem, said the establishment of the centre was another eloquent testimony of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s sincerity and seriousness towards fighting all forms of criminality. Kazeem, who addressed the media alongside senior officials of the ministry, said Governor Ambode had been at the vanguard of the war against domestic, sexual and violent crimes, and that the centre was geared towards vigorous justice sector reforms. He recalled the ground-breaking donation of equipment worth N4.8 billion to the Nigerian police, the light-up Lagos project, and the recent solidarity visit of the governor to crime flash points like the Isawo area of Ikorodu where criminals have been terrorizing innocent citizens, among others as further proofs of Ambode’s determination to tackle crime. Speaking on the importance of the forensic centre, the commissioner said the facility which would be driven by the Ministry of Justice with active support of the governor, will focus on DNA analysis to support the justice sector in diverse areas such as “collection and preserving reference and evidentiary DNA which can later be used in identifying criminals; decoding familial relationships of individuals which could also be a tool for the judicial system; and identifying victims and remains after natural and manmade calamities.” Kazeem also explained that DNA profiling is an extraction of DNA from body fluids, semen, nails, hair and other DNA generic sources, adding that the centre would greatly help to controvert evidence of alibi and confirm physical presence of suspects at the scene of a crime and the origin of DNA to such suspects. He said: “Even though the role of DNA in forensics, law enforcement and the justice sector is well known globally, a high-powered DNA analysis centre is not available in Nigeria. This means that most, if not all the DNA testing needs are performed outside Nigeria, a situation that leads to longer turnaround times and an overall higher cost of bringing closure to investigation and prosecution of crimes.” Read more: Click here