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Forensics cover a dead body and clear the scene of a blast in Maiduguri on February 17, 2017. As many as seven suicide bombers, including six women, tried to attack the northeast Nigerian city of Maiduguri but only succeeded in blowing themselves up, emergency services officials said on February 17, 2017.<br />STRINGER / AFP

Pathologists have urged the Federal Government to strengthen forensic science to minimise the high rate of crime in the country.

According to them, when the laws of science and justice partner, they birth a tool for bursting crimes.

The professionals spoke at the 12th annual meeting of the West African Division of the International Academy of Pathology (WADIAP) at the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre (NAFRC), Oshodi, Lagos, themed ‘Forensic Pathology: Prospects and Challenges for Public Health and Justice System in Africa’.

They maintained that when people continue to get away with crimes, criminality persists.

President of WADIAP, Prof. Edwin Wiredu; Registrar Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, Dr. Tajudeen Sanusi; Consultant Forensic Pathologist, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Prof. John Obafunwa; Managing Director, Lagos State Security Trust Fund, Mr. Fola Arthur-Worrey; and Consultant Pathologist, Dr. Chikodili Nwigwe, attended the event.

Arthur-Worrey urged the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and other stakeholders to lead the charge for written policy to address the dearth of forensic science capacity.

He said: “The way forward is to re-think the budget and the policing. Policing is not providing escort; it is for the prevention of crime, arrest of perpetrators and ensuring investigation of cases and their proper prosecution by solid evidence, which is usually forensic.”

Prof. Obafunwa advocated more political will in promoting forensic science in the country.

“The challenge in Nigeria is that we do not have the political will.”

He expressed hope that when the police force is decentralised, each state would focus on its own personnel and train them in crime management and proper investigation.

“Lagos is said to be trying, but there is room for improvement.

Nothing is happening at the federal level; the forensic science lab at Oshodi is zero.

There have to be the political will; government must be genuinely interested. It should not be case of just awarding contracts.”



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