Lagos State Assembly Passes DNA Bill For Criminal Investigation

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The Lagos State House of Assembly (LSHA) has passed a bill for a law establishing the Lagos State Deoxyribo-Nucleic Acid and forensic centre, in the bid to aid criminal investigations, law enforcement, preservation of evidence for the judicial system and other connected purposes,

The house passed the bill at plenary on Monday, after it scaled the third reading, with all lawmakers in attendance resolving in affirmation.

Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Eromosele Ebhomele, disclosed this in a statement released on Monday.

It was gathered that the reported bill was adopted at an earlier sitting presided over by Speaker Mudashiru Obasa.

One of the expectations of the legislation would be provided for the use and regulation of DNA-based technology in the state to enable scientific profiling or analysis that would meet global standards.

According to the statement, the salient provisions in the bill include, “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.”

In the same vein, the bill provides for 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.

It equally empowers 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 similar matters.

The bill provides that for expertise, the centre would come up with methods for optimum use of DNA techniques and technologies for justice administration.

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