Federal Government is planning a forensic and deoxyribonucleic acid laboratory for the police as part of strategies to combating the nation’s security challenges.
Minister of Police Affairs, Caleb Olubolade, who said this during the unveiling of the 2013 Police Week Celebration in Abuja, on Monday, noted that a Presidential Committee had been set up to assess the state of the forensic laboratories currently in use by the Police and other security agencies in the country.
Olubolade said the committee would advise the Federal Government on the modalities for upgrading the available ones and the technical and financial implications of establishing new ones in line with global standards.
The committee, he added, would examine all laws relating to forensic services in the country, with a view to bringing them up to date with what obtains in other climes, especially in the regulation of private forensic practices.
The minister, who decried the absence of modern forensic laboratories in the country, noted that the development had hampered crime investigations by the police and relevant agencies.
According to him, the country cannot continue to depend on other countries for quality and acceptable forensic services.
Olubolade further said the Federal Government would invest in the police and in the provision of forensic laboratories to tackle rising crimes in the country.
The establishment of the laboratories, the minister added, would enhance the operations of the Police and other security agencies at crime scenes, forgery, DNA and paternity investigations as well as in prosecution.
He directed data collection agencies like the Police, Nigeria Immigration Services, Customs, Prisons, Independent National Electoral Commission, National Identity Management Commission among others to be ready for data integration in order to facilitate crime detection and prosecution.
The Committee, which has a month to submit its report, draws its membership from security services, Presidency and the office of the Solicitor-General of the Federation.
On the police week celebrations, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, said the objective of the event was to bridge the widening gap between the public and the police.
He said, “The 2013 Police Week Celebrations will engender improved consciousness on the part of the rank and file of the Force on their responsibility for enhancing mutual trust and confidence in their operations and interaction with the public. It is for this reason that we chose ‘Connecting with the People for a more Effective Policing’ as the theme for the celebrations.”