We are gathered here this morning to witness the commissioning and handing over of the Lagos DNA Forensic Centre, the first of its kind in Nigeria. This event is particularly significant because it is a symbolic manifestation of some of our most important policies in the reform of our Justice Sector, as we had promised that no sector would be left unattended in this administration.
In many countries, technology is being embraced to make life easier in all spheres of our existence. From the domestic front to our places of work; from the way we learn, to doing business, the use of technology has become a way of life. You will therefore understand why our administration had no hesitation in approving this project which serves amongst other things, as an effective method of bringing perpetrators of crime to book and ensuring quick dispensation of justice.
This administration from inception realised that security is key to good governance and sustainability of investment in order to make life better for its citizens. We have therefore, over the past two years, invested heavily in security equipment, recruitment and training of Security Personnel to assist law enforcement agencies in the maintenance of public peace and security.
In spite of these, I want to assure you that this administration will not rest on its oars and this DNA Forensic Centre is a demonstration of our resolve to stay ahead of criminals through scientific led investigations.
The building in which we are gathered today has capacity to provide the Police, Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys and Private citizens with crime scene processing; serological screening for blood and semen; DNA analysis of bone, teeth and hair; maternal and paternal relationship DNA analysis; expert witness and case handling services; paternal and maternal ancestry DNA analysis; cold case file review and mass disaster human identification.
However, the commissioning of the Lagos DNA Forensic Centre is only the first step towards building a comprehensive forensic program that can fully support the administration of justice system in Lagos State. With the successful completion of this stage of the facility, our administration plans to include additional capacity in the areas of Toxicology; Trace evidence and Controlled Substance Analysis; Fingerprint and Latent prints; Firearms, ballistics and Tool marks; Digital Forensics; and Questioned Documents Examination.
The development of these other forensic sections at the facility will complement the DNA forensic section and enhance the level of services offered today.
Before now, most, if not all DNA analysis and testing were performed outside Nigeria, a situation that caused longer turn-around times and an overall higher cost of bringing closure to a case.
I am therefore convinced that the establishment of the Lagos DNA & Forensic Centre will improve the speed and quality of evidence collected to assist our Courts in the quick dispensation of justice. This centre is a definite boost for our administration’s Justice Sector reform programme. It shows that our covenant with Lagosians to create a safe and secure State is being kept.
To the good people of Lagos and citizens of Nigeria, I say congratulations as we share this moment in history and pray that this Centre will further transform the system of administration of Justice in Lagos in particular and Nigeria as a whole.
It is with joy and deep sense of satisfaction that I commission this building – the Lagos State DNA & Forensics Centre- to the glory of Almighty God and the benefit of humanity.
I thank you for listening.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko lojewalogun.
Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode
Governor of Lagos State
September 27, 2017