Lagos State Government Signs DNA Forensic Centre agreement

ambodeThe Lagos State Government has signed the agreement on the establishment of the DNA Forensic Centre.

A statement signed by a Director of Public Relations At the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Bola Akingbade says the agreement was signed at Alausa between the Lagos State Government and ITSI Bioscience LCC.

The State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Adeniji Kazeem, said that the Lagos State DNA Forensics Centre (LSDFC) is a unique forensic technique that is now being used all over the world and it is aimed at achieving the growing DNA needs of criminal investigation.

He said the agreement signed is in fulfillment of the State Government’s plan to establish a DNA Forensic Center in the State to facilitate prompt and effective prosecution of criminal activities.

The Centre, according to the Attorney-General, would aid investigation on domestic and sexual violence cases, boost family and paternity proceedings, help in identifying victims of natural and man made disasters and also be a tool for the judicial system.

Kazeem noted that the center will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to support all levels of DNA collection from people and objects, evidence examination, DNA analysis and provide evidential DNA storage.

‘I am certain that the Lagos DNA forensic laboratory is going to be another unique solution to fighting crime in our quest for a safer and secure Lagos’, he added.

Dr. Richard Somiasi signing on behalf of ITSI Bioscience LCC thanked the Lagos State Government and promised to live up to the task.

Arraignment Of Synagogue Church Trustees Stalled

SCOAN-Collapse-2The planned arraignment of the Registered Trustees of ‎the Synagogue Church of All Nations and two engineers who constructed its collapsed six-storey building was stalled on Monday at the Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.

The arraignment was stalled due to the absence of three out of the five defendants charged by the Lagos State Government.

While the registered trustees of the church and Jadny Trust Limited, the first & second defendants were represented by counsel in court, the 3rd to 5th defendants, Hardrock Construction Engineering Company and the two Engineers, Oladele Ogundeji & Akinbela Fatiregun were not represented.

The State’s Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Mr Niji Kazeem, told the presiding Justice, Lateef Lawal-Akapo, that the state had not been able to serve the three defendants with a copy of the charge.

Mr Kazeem said the service could not be effected because the state did not have valid addresses for them.

The court has however, directed the counsel, Mr Oluseun Abimbola, who represented the first & second defendants to furnish the prosecution with the valid addresses of the 3rd to 5th defendants.

Involuntary Manslaughter

Meanwhile, the state has slammed a 111-count charge against the accused persons.

In count one, the registered trustees of the Synagogue church and the other defendants were charged with failure to obtain building approval contrary to Section 41 of the Urban & Regional Planning Law of Lagos State.

In count 2 to 111, the other accused persons were charged with involuntary manslaughter which led to the death of 116 persons mostly South Africans on September 12, 2014.

The court has been adjourned till December 11.

A statement by the Deputy Director, Public Affairs of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Bola Akingbade, confirmed the scheduled arraignment.

Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos had earlier dismissed the fundamental human rights enforcement suits filed by the engineers who constructed the collapsed six-storey building to stop their planned trial.

Ban On Hijab To Promote Unity And Orderliness – Ipaye

Legal yearThe Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Rahman Ade Ipaye has applauded the judgment of the Ikeja High Court to uphold the ban of hijabs in primary and secondary schools in the state.

Justice Modupe Onyeabo had on Friday, October 17, 2014, dismissed and ruled against the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) suit against the Lagos State Government, saying such practice would affect the secular nature of state.

Ipaye said that the Lagos State Government is in the forefront of human rights promotion in Nigeria and would not deny its citizens their religious rights.

The Lagos AG, however, observed that no right was absolute and, sometimes, public interest would justify some limitations, adding that uniforms are adopted for school children at the formative stages to encourage a sense of unity, discipline, organization and orderliness.

“We do not want school children at this age to relate on the basis of obvious religious or social classification, hence the adoption of the uniform”, he briefed.

In a statement signed by the Pro Justice, Bola Akingbade, Ipaye noted that once deviations are allowed, conscious or unconscious group affiliations would crop up and this would promote prejudices, limit interactions and weaken the sense of unity among students of the same school.

“With uniforms, students, teachers and other staff are less likely to focus on dressing or appearance as a means of determining status, religion or other socio-cultural affiliations. Every student is equal and students are not able to tease or bully each other about the style, color or quality of their clothing or their religious, social or cultural background”, he noted.

He said uniformity would also encourage focus on school work and reduce social anxiety or animosity among students while enhancing confidence and sense of belonging all around.

Ipaye, said that the State Government’s decision to refuse variations to the uniforms prescribed for use in her primary and secondary schools was not an easy one, noting that the position was reached after extensive deliberations and consultations.

In his words, “We need first to define the limits of this policy, as it is not as extensive as some portray it to be. It is only applicable in Government owned Primary and Secondary Schools where encouragement of free interaction among children from all social and religious backgrounds are a matter of State Policy. Above the secondary school level, adult students can wear whatever they like, subject only to the dictates of their particular vocation or profession.”

Even in the primary and secondary schools, Ipaye said, interested female Muslim students will be allowed to wear their hijab during Islamic Religious Knowledge classes and for afternoon or Jumat prayers.

He posited that once deviations or variations are allowed for one group, Government would have no basis for refusing it to any other social or religious group, and that will be the end of the uniform in our public primary and secondary schools.

“Once any deviation is allowed for any reason, religious, cultural or personal, there will of course be no reason for disallowing another which may be requested on similar bases,” Ipaye explained.

In her ruling, Justice Onyeabor said that Section 10 of the Constitution made Nigeria a secular state and that government must maintain neutrality at all times and that the government therefore had a duty to preserve the secular nature of the institutions concerned.

She noted that since the public schools were being funded by the government, it was therefore competent to issue dress codes and other guidelines to the students.