In furtherance of its commitment to the criminal justice sector reforms and taking the fight against crime to a greater level, the Lagos State Government on Tuesday announced that it has concluded plans to establish the first ever high-powered DNA Forensic Laboratory in Nigeria which will take off within the next six to twelve months.
The lab, which would be called the Lagos State DNA Forensics Centre (LSDFC), when fully operational, would fulfill an unmet need for DNA profiling which is a unique forensic technique that is now being used all over the world.
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.
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.”
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.”