TheNigerianVoice Online Radio Center

Nigerian Police Builds DNA Lab To Tackle Crime Waves

Source: EWACHE AJEFU, ABUJA BUREAU CHIEF - thewillnigeria.com
PHOTO: NIGERIA'S POLICE IG OGBONNAYA ONOVO. Image: NAN
PHOTO: NIGERIA'S POLICE IG OGBONNAYA ONOVO. Image: NAN
Listen to article

ABUJA, June 04, (THEWILL) - U.S.- based Sorenson Forensics has announced that it is providing intensive forensic DNA training for Nigerian scientist-police officers to help prepare them for establishing and operating a law enforcement DNA laboratory in Nigeria.

Impeccable source at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters confirmed the development to THEWILL in Abuja.

Being the first DNA forensics facility in Nigeria, the Nigerian visiting scientists in the U.S. would work alongside teams of Sorenson Forensics scientists for eight hours per day having started in January to end in July, the U.S. firm said in statement made available to THEWILL.

The Nigeria police laboratory will be the first DNA forensics facility in Nigeria. The Nigeria Police officers brought along crime-scene DNA evidence from open Nigerian homicide cases to examine as part of Sorenson Forensics’ real-world, hands-on educational approach and identified a new suspect in a high-profile cold case.

As part of their training, the company has arranged for the visiting scientist-police officers to tour a number of established law enforcement facilities, including the FBI’s Mountain West computer forensics facility, the Utah state Crime Laboratory, the Cache country Sheriff’s Office facilities and the Unified Police Department facilities in Salt Lake City.

"We appreciate learning how to use advanced forensic DNA technology from Sorenson Forensics, a highly respected organization among law enforcement agencies worldwide," said Elias Uzoemeka, superintendent of police for the Nigerian national police force.

"Today Nigeria is experiencing economic growth, which enables us to develop advanced law enforcement tools that promote justice and security for our citizens," he said.

Launched in 2006, the firm has grown rapidly in response to strong demand for advanced DNA identification services from law enforcement agencies throughout the world and from the U.S. legal industry. The Salt Lake-based company, an independent business unit of Sorenson Genomics, receives and analyzes forensic evidence for DNA testing from more than 100 law enforcement agencies across the country, and develops and delivers on-site educational programs that strengthen forensic DNA laboratories. In 2008 the company set up the first DNA laboratory in Senegal, western Africa, and trained the scientists who operate it.

"We are proud to help educate scientists who will bring forensic DNA technology to Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa," said Tim Kupferschmid, the firm’s executive director.

"We have every advanced technique and technology available for forensic DNA testing at our facility and we are instructing our Nigerian visitors on all of them. We will continue to expand our relationships around Africa in order to share our expertise with those who have not yet benefitted from the unmatched ability of DNA to identify victims and to connect perpetrators with their crimes," he said.