Lagos State Government has expressed satisfaction with the performance of its DNA and Forensic Center (LSD&FC) established last year, just as it disclosed plans to establish additional forensic programmes to complement and maximize the level of services offered by the center.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem made this known today at the 2018 Ministerial Press Briefing in commemoration of the Third Year in Office of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.
Kazeem said that the approval for the establishment of Phase 2 of the Forensic Centre project which will comprise of Toxicology/Chemistry, General Administration, and Perimeter Security Enhancement among others will expand the ability of the Centre to support the Police and other relevant stakeholders in the judicial sector.
He explained that the Toxicology section of the Phase 2 of the project will allow the testing of human specimens (blood, urine, saliva, tissue, etc.) to check for chemicals, poisons, and toxins that may be harmful or responsible for death while the Chemistry section will allow the testing of suspicious and controlled substances recovered from individuals or from crime scenes.
The Attorney-General added that the expansion of the capacity of the DNA Centre would help address reported cases of poisoning, use of dangerous substances and above all, enhance investigation by security agencies and prosecution by the Office of the Attorney-General.
The Commissioner disclosed that “since the commissioning of the (LSD&FC) last year, a total of 316 inquiries have been received. The Center currently has over 71 active cases bothering on homicide, rape, toxicology, child trafficking, and serology amongst others”.
“As part of the LSD&FC programme, the Lagos State DNA Database (LSDD) and the Lagos State DNA Index System (LSDIS) have been established for the purpose of storing authorized DNA profiles for use in fighting crime and criminal investigations”, he added.
According to him, the State Government will continue to ensure the effective functioning of the LSD&FC through the organization of specialized enlightenment and training programs for Judges, Police, Lawyers and Emergency Responders.
Speaking further on efforts being put in place by the State Government to expand the frontier of justice delivery, the Attorney-General disclosed that the Ministry has launched an E-Real Estate Litigation Database, www.lagoslispendens.com.ng to enhance due diligence in property transactions in the State and also provide ease of access to property information.
He added that the Lagos State Ministry of Justice will soon grant the public access to a web portal – HTTP: laws.lagosstate.gov.ng for regular online updates on all new Laws and Regulations passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly.
“We have also launched the Plea Bargain Protocol with a view to driving quick and effective resolution of criminal cases and in turn decongest the prisons and Court dockets”, he stated.
Kazeem informed that over 750,000 criminal suspect forms were handed over to the Lagos State Police Command on behalf of the Lagos State Government in the last one year with the aim of bringing about ease of justice delivery and quick record keeping of criminals in the State.
He affirmed that the State’s commitment to ensuring that more people access the machinery for effective and quick justice delivery led to commissioning of new court buildings in the last one year.
The Courts, according to him, include Badagry (Olusola Thomas Combined Court Complex), Ajegunle (Sikiru Adagun Combined Court Complex) and a couple of new Magistrate Courts for Environmental, Road-Traffic and Allied Offences in Oshodi to support the Mobile Court Units.