The Lagos State House of Assembly has passed a bill for a law to establish the Lagos State Deoxyribo-Nucleic Acid (DNA) and Forensic Centre in the state.
The House passed the bill after the bill scaled the third reading through a voice vote presided by the Speaker, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, at the plenary in Lagos on Monday.
Obasa explained that the bill was passed to support criminal investigation, law enforcement, preservation of evidence for the judicial system and for other connected purposes.
According to him, the centre is expected to recommend methods for optimum use of DNA techniques and technologies for administration of justice.
The speaker noted that part of the objectives of the centre included to provide for the use and regulation of DNA-based technology in the state for it 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.
“Others are the ballistics, trace evidence analysis, questioned document examination and digital forensics to obtain evidence relevant to the investigation of criminal offences.
“This centre will 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,” he said.
Obasa said that the bill gave powers to the centre to take specified bodily samples from certain categories of persons for purposes of DNA analysis.
The speaker noted that the centre could collect, examine, document and preserve evidence which could later be used in the identification of offenders, amongst others.
He said the bill also allowed the centre to decode family ties and relationships of individuals to establish identity and the identification of abandoned or disputed children and other related issues.
Obasa directed the Clerk of the House, Mr Lekan Onafeko, to send a clean copy of the bill for Mudashiru Obasa, ’s assent on it.