Lagos Assembly to Fight Crime with DNA and Forensic Centre Bill

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CEM REPORT | A bill for the establishment of a Lagos State Deoxyribo-Nucleic Acid (DNA) and Forensic Centre has scaled the third reading at plenary on Monday.

All lawmakers in attendance have given the nod for the bill to be passed into law.

The bill seeks to establish a DNA and forensic centre to support criminal investigations, law enforcement, preservation of evidence for the judicial system, and for other connected purposes.

Additional, the centre is to also “carry out other forensic disciplines including, toxicology, drug chemistry, fingerprint examination, firearms 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 DNA samples.”

The bill gives powers to the centre to take specified bodily samples from certain categories of persons for DNA analysis; collect, examine, document and preserve evidence which can later be used in the identification of offenders among others.

The bill also allows the centre to decode family ties and relationships of individuals to establish an identity as well as the identification of abandoned or disputed children and other related issues.

The centre is expected to provide for the use and regulation of DNA-based technology in Lagos State to carry out profiling or analysis and also recommend methods for optimum use of DNA techniques and technologies for the administration of justice.

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