Experts Harp on Forensic Science in Tackling Crimes

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Sunday Okobi

Stakeholders in the forensic and security industry have stressed the importance of forensic science in resolving crimes.

This form of investigation, according to them would make it easy for crime detection as well as in unravelling causes of death, finding missing persons, among others.

Speaking at a workshop in Lagos, recently, which was organised by Academy Halogen, the educational arm of Halogen Group, the Chief Operating Officer of Academy Halogen, Dr. Wale Adeagbo, said the workshop was part of the organisation’s thought leadership and policy advocacy programmes.

He said the forum was aimed at tackling major hiccups usually encountered in the value chain of enterprise security risk especially those affecting forensic practice in Nigeria.

 He stated that the platform provided an atmosphere to explore how the private security industry could drive capacity building in the area of forensic science to better leverage emerging opportunities in the practice.

On her part, a forensic scientist and a panelist at the workshop, Ms. Avril Eyewu Edero, said there was need for robust private security industry collaboration with the government and other stakeholders to take forensic practice to a world-class level in Nigeria. 

She explained that “we now have a growing population of citizens, who are aware of the importance of forensic investigations and they are willing to pay for such analysis.”

 Avril, challenged private security companies and organisations like Academy Halogen to explore possibilities of investing in putting up a befitting forensic laboratory in the country.

 According to her, “Nigerian citizens are becoming aware of forensic services; people are demanding forensics analysis and a lot of them are ready to pay for the services.

“This is an area private security industry can take advantage of. They can build their forensic laboratory, get people properly trained and the people will pay for it.”

 In his remark, the Nigeria Police Force forensic expert, Mr. Samuel Odey said: “Crime scene investigation is a vital part of forensic investigations. On a single crime scene, you will be able to see 20 different pieces of evidence, and these 20 evidences may require different experts to analyse them.

“For instance, question document, digital evidence, pathological evidence and a whole lot of other evidence. At all times, the scene must remain uncontaminated for proper analysis.”

 Dr. Demola Lewis, who is an academic and a linguistic forensic expert, earlier corroborated the need for concerted efforts between the private security industry and forensic practitioners to drive standards in the Nigerian forensic sciences sector.

 He added: “Forensic practice is beyond using science alone to solve crimes. It involves chemistry, physics, psychology and more. We need more collaboration to upgrade the practice to an enviable level.”

 Speaking on the place of the judiciary in the application of forensic evidence to obtain justice, a legal practitioner and researcher, Mrs. Tomi Ajayi, said there are so many factors that must be in place for forensic evidence to be acceptable in court.

 She explained that: “Forensic evidence must come with common sense; it must be presented in simple and clear language, it must be error-free, and there must not be conflicting medical opinion amongst many other vital points.”

 Also, Mrs. Nellie Onwuchekwa, advocated for collaboration between lawyers and the police in the administration of forensic evidence in court.

“I think lawyers should brace up to learn more about forensics, they need to have more collaboration with police forensics. This is for us to have appropriate criminal justice results,” she said.