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Lagos Assembly passes bill on DNA, forensic centre

By Kehinde Olatunji
06 September 2022   |   4:33 am
Lagos State House of Assembly has passed a bill establishing the Lagos State Deoxyribo-Nucleic Acid (DNA) and Forensic Centre to support criminal investigations, law enforcement, preservation of evidence for the judicial system ...

Lagos Assembly

Lagos State House of Assembly has passed a bill establishing the Lagos State Deoxyribo-Nucleic Acid (DNA) and Forensic Centre to support criminal investigations, law enforcement, preservation of evidence for the judicial system and other connected purposes.

The bill, which was passed by the House after it scaled the third reading at plenary, yesterday, with all lawmakers in attendance giving their approval.

A report on the bill had been adopted at an earlier sitting presided over by the Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa. A statement by Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Eromosele Ebhomele, stated that part of the objectives of the centre includes, providing for the use and regulation of DNA based technology in Lagos State to carry out profiling or analysis.

The centre is to also “carry out other forensic disciplines, including toxicology, drug chemistry, fingerprint examination, fire-arms examination, tool mark examination, ballistics, trace evidence analysis, questioned document examination and digital forensics to obtain evidence relevant to the investigation of criminal offences.”

“Provide for the use of DNA profiles in the investigation of crime and the use of such profiles in proving the innocence or guilt of persons.

“Provide for the conditions under which the samples for DNA profiles may be retained or destroyed.

“Establish a DNA database and a DNA Index System in the state as well as establish a DNA bank for storage of reference samples.”

The bill, which gives powers to the centre to take specified bodily samples from certain categories of persons for the purposes of DNA analysis, collect, examine, document and preserve evidence, which can later be used in the identification of offenders, among others, also allows the centre to decode family ties and relationship of individuals to establish identity as well as identification of abandoned or disputed children and other related issues.

The centre is expected to recommend methods for optimum use of DNA techniques and technologies for administration of justice.