Lagos State DNA & Forensic Center (LSD&FC) is a state-of-the-art Crime Laboratory established in 2017 by the Lagos State Government to enhance public safety by assisting law enforcement and the judiciary conduct criminal and civil investigations. LSD&FC is organized under the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, which provides oversight. LSD&FC was setup for the Lagos State Government by ITSI-Biosciences, LLC (www.itsibio.com) a Johnstown, PA, USA based organization. Under the turnkey contract, ITSI-Biosciences conceptualized and supervised/managed the entire process from layout design, to the buildout, supply and installation of all equipment, hiring and training of all staff, development of all protocols/policies, ISO 17025:2017 accreditation and management of the center for the government. LSD&FC is the first dedicated crime laboratory in Nigeria setup by a state government, and that is specifically established to support law enforcement and criminal investigations to help fight crime, and make Lagos State a safe place to live, work, visit and play.
The city of Lagos is Nigeria’s most populated city, and Lagos State with a population of over 21 million is the largest economy in Nigeria. Lagos is the 7th fastest growing city in the world and alleged to be the 5th largest economy in Africa. As would be expected in many mega cities, different kinds of crime, including murder, kidnapping, extortion, carjack, assault, rape, armed mugging and burglary occur in Lagos.
The official commissioning of the Forensic DNA and Forensic Serology Section (Phase 1) was conducted by His Excellency Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, the Governor of Lagos State on 27th of September 2017. His Excellency Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu the current Governor of Lagos State is implementing Phase 2 of the program which concerns the development of the Forensic Toxicology and Forensic Chemistry disciplines, central administration, forensic science training laboratory and security enhancement. It is expected that the remaining core forensic disciplines will be established as needed between 2021 and 2025.
The main purpose of establishing LSD&FC is to make available modern scientific methods and expertise to investigators, law enforcement and the judiciary, to help solve crime and resolve disputes faster and unequivocally in Lagos State. It is expected that LSD&FC will help improve public safety by facilitating faster dispensation of justice in Lagos State.
On February 13, 2019 LSD&FC became an ISO 17025:2017 accredited laboratory through the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), USA. This was the culmination of a multi-month effort to document and demonstrate adherence to the highest levels of quality standards in forensic DNA, forensic serology, collection and handling of evidence, microscopic examination of evidence, statistical analysis, DNA database management and secure evidence storage.
To maintain its accreditation, LSD&FC will undergo a full on-site assessment by a team of assessors every 3 years, with annual assessment activities to evaluate and confirm ongoing conformance to quality standards. The first post ISO accreditation on-site assessment together with an inspection to expand the scope of accreditation to include paternity and other relationship tests occurred in December 2019.
Accreditation is just one component of LSD&FC’s quality management and assurance program. LSD&FC quality assurance strategy includes frequent competency testing, quarterly proficiency tests administered by external accredited bodies and continuing education. Together, our accreditation and quality programs help LSD&FC provide better, unbiased and unparalleled services to the Lagos State criminal justice system, public safety agencies, security organizations, foreign embassies, non-government organizations and the general public.
LSD&FC has established strategic relationships with forensic laboratories and practitioners in Nigeria and abroad.