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​Ambode: New DNA lab will rid Lagos of domestic, sexual crimes

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Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, says the  DNA forensic centre constructed by his administration will go a long way in ensuring that perpetrators of domestic violence and sexual crimes are punished in line with the provision of the law.
Ambode said this when he received members of the state’s domestic and sexual violence response team (DSVRT) led by Adeniji Kazeem, the state’s  attorney general and commissioner for justice, at government house, Ikeja.
He said apart from being part of the comprehensive justice sector reform plan, the DNA lab would complement efforts of such agencies like the DSVRT to rid Lagos the state of sexual abuses and domestic violence crimes.
Citing the case involving the rape of a three-year-old girl which was thrown out by the court for lack of evidence, the governor said the DNA centre, which is the first of its kind in West Africa, will henceforth eliminate such incidences, as there would now be solid evidence to back up such cases.
“Just few days back, we commissioned the DNA and forensic lab centre in Lagos and many thought we could not do it because in the past, there have been efforts to do it but because of the huge cost implication, they could not,” Ambode said.
“We were so determined that we were going to do something about justice reform and we have to do it in totality and setting up that DNA centre means we have given a veritable vehicle for DSVRT and others to pursue the dream which is to rid the state of the societal ill.
“With that, we are saying that we are ready to back everything that the team is doing because it is not enough for us to get victims rescued, we should also be able to put up measures to punish perpetrators and by setting up the DNA centre, it is more or less to complement what the team is doing.”
Ambode commended the DSVRT members for their efforts in promoting and championing the fight against domestic and sexual violence in the state.
He called for more institutions and volunteers to join the fight against all forms of sexual and domestic abuses.
“I enjoy the fact that the advocacy has really worked. When we started, I hear comments like is this what Ambode should be concentrating on, he should go and do roads. But we are on our way to stop issues that relate to domestic abuse and sexual violence,” he said.
“This is a societal ill that does no one any good, it distorts the productivity of a city; it reduces the GDP of this economy; it looks very fluid but it is very critical.
“That is the message we are sending. For everyone freed from this, we increase productivity by almost double and then if it becomes an attitude, it then means that we have done something for this society.
“This is one silent project. It does not look like the Ajah bridge neither does it look like third mainland bridge but it’s one key area through which we can touch our people positively.”

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