The first DNA Forensic Centre in Nigeria is to become operational by the first quarter of 2017.
The centre which is at the instance of the Lagos State government is expected to bring about seamless administration of justice.
Meticulous processes are being put in place in partnership with international renowned experts to ensure that the centre, upon completion, is compared to the best in the world.
The State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Adeniji Kazeem spoke at the maiden edition of annual Lagos Forensic Symposium in Ikeja.
He said that the symposium was part of measures to sensitise key stakeholders in the justice administration system with a view to adequately prepare them for the new technology coming on board.
“In order to ensure that there is proper investigation and prosecution of crimes, the Governor approved that this DNA Forensic centre be established, the centre will be world class and the first by any State government in Nigeria and it will help in investigation, prosecution and adjudication,” the Commissioner hinted.
Justice Kazeem recalled that since inception, “the present administration had made law and order, as well as security one of the focal points, especially with the procurement of multi billion Naira equipment for the police and other security agencies.”
According to him, crimes will be resolved faster, there would be more potent and precise investigation by the police and the situation where people are wrongly accused and convicted will be eliminated, while the real culprits are diligently prosecuted.
“This is good for Nigeria, it is good for Lagos and it shows that Lagos is a leader and it will continue to be a leader in innovation and technology; the centre is going to be ISO certified which means it is going to be world class; it is going to be used by not only Lagosians or Nigerians and I am sure that international institutions or organisations, embassies that are in Nigeria will utilise it,” Kazeem said.
He further explained that, “People from West Africa and even in the entire sub-Saharan Africa will utilise it. We are not going to cut any corners and it will be world class. What people do presently is that some of the samples for testing are flown abroad for sampling in South Africa, United States, United Kingdom and the likes, but we are going to stop all that and have our own world class DNA Forensic Centre here in Lagos.”
Lead discussant at the symposium and President of ITSI-Biosciences, Dr. Richard Somiari said the State would benefit a lot from the DNA centre, adding that with forensic capabilities, crimes will be resolved faster and so many cases which hitherto could not be resolved will be addressed faster.
On his part, Chairman of Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Dele Oloke said the establishment of DNA centre was an eloquent confirmation that Lagos was being governed by deep thinkers and vibrant people.
Mr Oloke noted that the centre would also help in reducing incidences of innocent people being unduly punished, thereby reducing cases of awaiting inmates in the prison.