The Lagos State government, it appears is fully geared towards changing the criminal justice system in the state. To this effect the state government has completed construction and opened Nigeria’s first ever high-powered DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) Forensic Laboratory. This was made public recently by the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem.
It would be recalled that just some time in 2016 Governor Akinwunmi Ambode kick-started the construction of the DNA forensic laboratory. The DNA Forensic laboratory is aimed at helping solve the issue of crime in the state; it will also help to deal with other DNA issues such as paternity matters – by the deployment of advanced technology. The lab according to the statement, will further go to and accomplish high and urgent need for DNA profiling – an advanced and special forensic technique which has long been in use in the advanced world.
Recently at Alausa, Ikeja, Kazeem, represented by the state Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Funlola Odunlami, stated that only skeletal work had been taking place in the Lagos State DNA Forensics Centre which had been open for some time. He added that however, it would be formally declared open in a few weeks to come. The facility, he said was also one of the many efforts by the state government to promote peace in the state.
Kazeem stated: “The DNA forensic centre just opened this month. We are yet to commission it, but it has been opened and it is a DNA crime forensic lab, and at the same time, it is going to deal with other DNA matters like paternity issue. What we are doing now is skeletal work which we started this month.”
He said that in 2007, the state government through the Citizens’ Mediation Centre (CMC), an agency under the Ministry of Justice, began cooperation with the United Nations Information Office with a view to marking the International Day of Peace each year, in order to disseminate information and promote the culture of peaceful co-existence among the various peoples in the State. It become therefore imperative to educate and sensitise the public on the importance of living in peace and harmony, with respect and value for human dignity for the enhancement of socio-economic growth, he said.
Kazeem also said in his statement: “The Lagos State Government recognises the fact that the state is the commercial nerve centre of sub-Saharan Africa, where all races converge for various purposes such as business, hospitality, tourism among others, and has put in place mechanisms that will foster development and promote economic activities in the state by instituting agencies that will attend to matters relating to Land Grabbers, Special Task Force, donation of police vehicles for security, introduction of DNA Forensic laboratory to archive blood samples of criminals, among others.
He concluded by adding that all these efforts of the state government are being put together for the sake of achieving and promoting peace in the entire state.