Police abandon forensic laboratory


…as officers chase ‘lucrative’ postings

Uba Group

The multi-million naira forensic facility of the Nigeria Police Force, located at Alagbon Close, Ikoyi, Lagos, is in a state of disrepair, The Point investigation has revealed.
Our correspondent observed that the forensic facility, which is a department under the supervision of the Force Criminal Investigation Department, had been virtually abandoned.
The only noticeable activity in the facility has to do with the issuance of certificate of character and international driver’s licence. Skeletal services are also being offered at the fingerprint section.
The forensic laboratory was created about 20 years ago under the late former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Sunday Adewusi, to assist the force in carrying out investigations in line with global standards.
Our correspondent gathered that the fortune of the facility nosedived shortly after it was officially launched and it trained few hands to manage its equipment.
The personnel attached to the facility were then said to have influenced their postings out of the laboratory now viewed as a dumping ground for inactive police officers.
Apart from the fact that most of the facilities were never upgraded beyond the level they were at inception, no modern equipment appeared to have been added in the past 20 years.
Sources told our correspondent that, during the tenure of Mr. Hafiz Ringim, as the IGP, efforts were made to resuscitate the comatose department.
Ringim was said to have carefully selected some cadet police officers for training by core professionals in forensic examinations at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos.
A source, who asked not to be named, said, “Over 100 cadet assistant superintendents were trained in forensics and their area of coverage include hand writing analysis, human psychology, finger-print, ethical hacking and law, among several other subjects.”
The course, according to findings, took the participants about three months to complete.
“At the end of the day, the trained experts were posted out to local police stations as ordinary officers without realising the import of their training. Today, those professionals have been scattered all over the country as general duty policemen,” the source said.
Some of the personnel at the police facility, who spoke with our correspondent, pleading anonymity, said that most of the equipment at their disposal “have for long broken down, while others are simply outdated.”
An officer lamented that everything at the facility had remained unattended to because of neglect.
“We are supposed to be more than this here. The fact remains that nobody wants to work in an environment that is not attractive; I mean an environment that is neither challenging nor tasking,” he said.
Former spokesperson of the police force, ACP Olabisi Kolawole, who responded to our correspondent’s enquiries on phone, shortly before leaving office, said that all cases of abandoned projects were being looked into by the police management team.
The new force PRO, Mr. Don Awunah, however, did not respond to text messages sent to him.