A bill seeking the establishment of the Lagos State Deoxyribo-Nucleic Acid, DNA, and Forensic centre has been passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday.
The bill is seeking to support criminal investigations, law enforcement, preservation of evidence for the judicial system and for other connected purposes.
This information is according to a statement by Eromosele Ebhomele, the Chief Press Secretary to the Lagos Speaker, Hon. Mudashiru Obasa.
The bill scaled the third reading at plenary with all lawmakers in attendance giving their approvals.
The centre is to embrace the use and regulations of DNA based technology in order to carry out profiling or analysis.
The centre is to also “carry out other forensic disciplines including, toxicology, drug chemistry, finger print 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 the purposes of DNA analysis; collect, examine, document and preserve evidence which can later be used in the identification of offenders amongst others.
The bill also allows the centre decode family ties and relationships of individuals in order to establish identity as well as the identification of abandoned or disputed children and other related issues.
The centre is expected to recommend methods for optimum use of DNA techniques and technologies for administration of justice.