DNA Test Before Will Part 2

From our last DNAnews, we know that this week we expect a DNA result, right? If you didn’t read the last DNAnews, click here, it’s a lovely read.


Now let’s continue ……

So, in John’s will, he requested for a DNA test for all his children. Thus, Mary’s son will have to be tested to prove that John was the biological father. John also stated in his will that he wanted the DNA test to be carried out at the Lagos DNA & Forensic Center (LSD&FC; www.lsdfc.org), a center accredited under ISO 17025 standards and well known for impartiality and outstanding credibility.

The lawyer puts a call through to the center and a sample collection date is fixed. Since John’s father is standing in, considering that he will be the alleged paternal grandfather of all of John’s children, a grand parentage test was going to be carried out to establish if John’s father is the biological Grandfather of Mary’s son.

At about 8am on a Monday morning they were on their way to LSD&FC. By “they” I mean, the alleged grandfather, the lawyer, Mary and her 3-year-old son. They defied all odds including the popular Lagos traffic and got there on time for their sample collection appointment.  

Buccal Samples were collected from John’s Father (alleged grandfather) and Mary’s son and sent to the lab for analyses. The Casework/Client Services Coordinator told them the result may take up to 3 weeks to be ready. “3 whole weeks!”, Mary asked, giving the Analyst a curious look. “Can’t we get the result sooner?” The LSD&FC staff explained that it is “quality first” at LSD&FC. All samples go through different stages of analyses and multi-level checks to ensure that results are accurate. Quality assurance and control processes cannot be compromised. A “false-positive” or “false-negative” result is unacceptable. Mary then exhaled and nodded up and down showing that she understands.

Two weeks later, less than the original 3 weeks promised, the lawyer gets a call from the center that the report was ready. He informed all the interested parties and asked them to meet him at the center.

They all arrived at the center and were eager to know the result. The Casework/Client Services Coordinator handed the report in a sealed envelope to the lawyer. He opened the envelope, pulled out the report and went straight to the part titled “conclusion” – This is the part of the report that indicates whether the alleged biological relationship existed or not. He read this aloud for all to hear.

“The alleged Grandfather is Excluded as the biological Grandfather of the child tested”.

That is John’s father is not the biological grandfather, meaning that John is not the father of Mary’s son.

Mary snatched the report from the Lawyer and screamed “It’s a lie, this is not possible”.

Nadine, John’s wife who had her hand on her jaw looks at Mary with a smirk on her face.

Mary kept saying “This is not possible”, while pacing.

After a while, she looks at the lawyer and says “Mr. Barrister, I don’t accept this report, after all it wasn’t John’s sample that was tested. How about if John was not the biological son of this man?”, pointing at John’s father. “Why didn’t we use John’s actual DNA?”

“How can you ask that question?”, the lawyer asked. “Are you not aware that John’s body was burnt?”.

At this point, Mary requested to speak with a DNA analyst. So, an analyst was invited.

Mary asked the analyst if DNA can be isolated from a burnt body. The Analyst said yes, it may be possible to isolate DNA from bone or other deep tissue that was not affected by the fire.

Mary then told everyone that she will not accept this DNA report because John’s DNA was not used for the test.  Does Mary have a scientifically valid point?

The problem of course is that John has been buried. This means an exhumation order, grave diggers, mortician, and pathologist, will be required to accomplish the test.

Dear reader, do you know that if John stored his DNA at LSD&FC while he was alive, his DNA would have been used, and there will be no exhumation.  

Oh yes, it’s possible to have your DNA profiled, and the leftover DNA stored in GenPlates while alive. The stored DNA/report can be used in the future to establish any claimed biological relationship. It is cheaper and faster to use stored DNA rather than DNA from an exhumed body for a biological relationship test.  

So, what happens now that the Grand parentage test has been rejected by Mary?

Where does Mary go from here?

What will the Lawyer do?

We will find out in the next DNAnews.


If you have any questions or need any help with DNA testing, please reach out to us via +234-081-4741-1921 or send an email to info@lsdfc.org. LSD&FC also provides DNA storage services. Till our next newsletter, stay energized.

DNA Test Before Will

John is a 43 year old man who works with a major oil company. He has a very beautiful wife Nadine who can be described as a goddess. Their two children Andrew and Sarah attend the best school in the neighborhood. Life generally is perfect for John.

One day John’s boss called him after a team meeting at the office and asks him to represent the office at a Conference abroad. He agreed without question, in-fact, he was honored to have been nominated.

The office booked his flight and he was off to what promises to be an exciting trip abroad. He attended the conference but on his way back the worst thing happened. The Aircraft he was in, faced serious engine problems. The pilot tried to secure an emergency landing but did not succeed and the plane crashed. While some people survived, John didn’t.

Nadine, his wife , heard the news and was devastated. 2 months later, after he was buried, his lawyer showed up at his house to read his will. John’s father, mother, uncle and younger brother were seated with his wife.

Just before the lawyer started, a young woman who no one had previously seen, walked into the sitting room with a little boy that wasn’t older than 3 years. When she was asked who she was, she said, “My name is Mary, I was John’s girlfriend and this is his child”. John has a child with you? John’s father asked in shock. He turned and saw Nadine looking dazed. He tapped her shoulders, and asked her to be calm. He then told the lawyer to go ahead and read the will.

The first paragraph of the will read “If you’re listening to this will, it means I’m dead. I leave my properties and money to Nadine and my children. Every single child of mine would get what is due to them, but first a DNA test should be conducted to confirm that all are my biological children.”

I know you’re probably wondering how the family would go about this seemingly uneasy task, especially since John is no more.

When an alleged father is not available due to distance or death, a known member of his family may be tested and used as a reference for identification. In John’s case, all his biological children can be identified with confidence by using his father as a reference (Grand-Parentage Test). Also, his biological brother can be used as a reference (Sibship Test) or his father’s brother can be used (Avuncular Test) to establish close biological relationship with the child.

No one knows what the result will be and we all can’t wait to find out in our next email if Mary’s baby is truly John’s son.

Till next week, stay energized and please contact us now by phone on 08147411921 or email at info@lsdfc.org to help you with your DNA testing needs or questions.

6th Annual Lagos Forensic Symposium on October 19-20

LFS

The Lagos Forensic Symposium (LFS; www.laforensic.org) organizing invites you to attend the 2022 Symposium. LFS 2022 will be held at The Providence by Mantis, 12A Oba Akinjobi Way, Ikeja, GRA, Lagos, Nigeria, from October 19 – 20, 2022.

LFS is an international forensic symposium organized by the Lagos State Government, Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Lagos State DNA & Forensic Center, ITSI – Biosciences, LLC and the German Agency for International Development (GIZ). It provides a platform where leading forensic scientists and other stakeholders interact and exchange knowledge and experience.

The core mission of LFS is to bring law enforcement, judiciary, lawyers, university faculty, forensic scientists, medical doctors, nurses, Immigration services, correctional services, social services, press and other stakeholders together, to discuss local, regional and global crime trends, and exchange information on how forensic science can be applied in the African setting to support the criminal justice system.

Each symposium features leading experts with cognate experience in different aspects of forensics. Over 200 participants from 18 Countries attended the 2021 symposium. Participants included Senior Government Officials, Judges, Police, Emergency Service workers, Forensic Pathologists, Prosecutors, Defense Attorneys, Customs and Immigration Services, Correctional Services, Military, Non-Government Organizations, University Lecturers, Students and Press.

LFS focuses on forensic practice and its application to resolve real cases. Presentations this year will cover the following areas:

  • Forensic Evidence in Court
  • Murder Investigations
  • Sexual Assault Investigations
  • Disaster Victim Identification
  • Suicide Investigations
  • Fire and Accident Investigations

To encourage the participation of stakeholders there is no fee to attend LFS 2022. However, registration is mandatory.  Space is extremely limited so act fast. Registration will close once the number of registered participants hits 130. If you are interested in presenting a paper, please send a title for consideration to info@laforensic.org  no later than September 23, 2022.

Registration is open. To register please go to www.laforensic.org and register by October 14, 2022. Please contact us by email (info@laforensic.org) or phone (+234-814-741-1921) if you have any question.

Is DNA that reliable?

*You already know that DNA testing has proved to be a solution for human identification in many situations *

*In Crime Scene Investigation – to link suspects to crime scenes and exonerate the innocent *

In medicine – to test an individual’s predisposition to a disease, disease prognosis and enable precision medicine

In ancestry – to understand your family lineage

In Forensics – to resolve criminal cases by identifying “who” committed the crime even when there was no eye witness

These are sensitive and extremely serious areas. We offer DNA tests to ascertain specific facts; hence the result must be accurate. If you rule out the reliability and accuracy, it’s safe to say there’s no reason to do the test.

Now to the question
Is a DNA Test reliable ?

DNA testing in itself is reliable but samples don’t analyze themselves and so even though the test is reliable, the humans involved in running the test from the collection of sample to the analysis can make mistakes and equipment can malfunction.

Working with LSD&FC, we do not make mistakes, not because we are not humans but because we have standards and quality assurance and quality control processes in place that guards against mistakes, and if mistakes occur the systems in place will detect it and a corrective action will be implemented. Our process starts from the very beginning, when samples are collected and continues to the point when results are issued. There are multiple levels of checks and verifications because we know that a “false positive” or a “false negative” result can have a devastating and life changing effect on a family. That is how much of a big deal DNA testing is to us because we understand that there are grave implications for releasing an inaccurate test result

So Is DNA testing reliable?

*YES, DNA testing is reliable.
Tests performed by the Lagos State DNA & Forensic Center are reliable and results can be trusted.*

Need any help or answers to questions? Do not hesitate to reach us at 08147411921 or info@lsdfc.org.

Unfavourable Paternity Results

Dear Reader,

I have a question for you.

What do you do if the alleged father or mother questions the accuracy or validity of a DNA result you issued? Can the paternity DNA result you issue be questioned? The answer is Yes.

Remember that if a child’s paternity is in question, it is more likely that the alleged father of the child has reasons to doubt the paternity of that child. Most times the mothers don’t question the paternity of the child they call their own.

You would agree with me that this will be a “not so pleasant” situation for both alleged father and mother. Since DNA testing can help answer such a question, it is our duty, to help answer the question without getting caught in the crossfire.

So as the bridge between their paternity question and the answer, you might encounter situations where a DNA report makes one party unhappy, and as a result the unhappy party will start questioning you about the accuracy of the test.

If this ever happens, don’t panic, stay calm. CTS will never change the result for any reason or compromise her very high standards because we have no reason to alter any report to favour any party and altering results to create a “false positive” or “false negative” outcome can have very serious and life changing implications, or even death in extreme cases. All you have to do is reach out to us and we will be more than happy to speak professionally to the client and help them understand that science cannot lie and we have no benefit to alter the report.

Remember, whether or not a DNA paternity report is what is expected or not, things will not be the same again for the parties involved. So we don’t take sides, we just provide an honest answer to any question that DNA can answer.

Till next week dear reader, stay energized.

Does Nigeria Have A Forensic Database? Find Out

Not only can Forensic DNA analysis help families of victims find closure, it has proven time and time again to be extremely helpful in cases of sexual assault. How does this happen? Trained Investigators will look for DNA evidence at locations relevant to the case. Evidence can also be collected from the body and clothes of the person who survived the assault.

When this evidence is collected, it is sent to a lab and the DNA extracted will be analyzed, profiled, and then compared to the DNA of suspect(s). If the suspect is unknown, it is compared to a larger data base e.g., CODIS (the Combined DNA Index System) which is used by the FBI in the United States.

The Incredible power of DNA technology as an identification tool cannot be overemphasized and many countries around the world operate forensic DNA databases which has helped to link DNA recovered from crime scenes to the perpetrators of the crime.

Unfortunately, Nigeria is behind in this conversation as there is no comprehensive forensic DNA database. If we must avert miscarriages of justice, solve more crime puzzles (sexual assault, murder etc) and exonerate the innocent, then we need to embrace the forensic investigative method of solving crimes of which DNA is a critical component. We know this because we have investigated over 150 crime scenes and helped solved several crime puzzles.

Remember we are always here to help. Feel free to contact us on 08131123820 or send an email to info@lsdfc.org.

Till next week, stay energized.

Closure

Disasters are really sad occurrences that sometimes result in loss of lives and properties. It’s even worse when victims of such disasters can’t be recognized . In cases like this the surest way to establish relationship between the bodies and supposed family members whether or not the bodies can be identified is through DNA analysis.

*It’s extremely sad to say unexpected goodbyes to loved ones in the event of death, thankfully forensic identification has helped families find closure in unforeseen situations . *

*Take for instance the June 2018 incident, where a tanker fully loaded with petrol exploded on the Otedola Bridge at the Lagos end of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. A total of nine bodies were recovered. *

Victim samples from the incident were picked up by LSD&FC staff from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) Forensic Pathologist, under stringent chain of custody and reference samples i.e samples of family members of the victims were collected as well, and based on the forensic DNA analysis performed at LSD&FC, bodies were matched and handed over to their rightful families for the necessary burial arrangements.

This was the first time unidentified victims of a Nigerian mass disaster was successfully identified locally using DNA technology.

DNA analysis might not bring back the dead but it is safe to say that it sure brings closure to cases.

* We are here to help with the identification of victims should you have the need…*

Feel free to contact us on 08131123820 or send an email to info@lsdfc.org

Till next week, stay energized.

Paternity Fraud or Not – A True Story

Last week, we talked about how “Paternity” is the first thing that comes to mind when the word “DNA Testing” is mentioned right? This week we will be talking about another issue of concern based on a true-life story.

There was a couple that had been married for years. Their marriage was going well until they visited the hospital for a genotype test to be conducted for their daughter. They got the shock of their life when the result came out and their precious daughter had the genotype SS. It was shocking because the Husband was AA and Wife who was supposedly her mother was AS. I would explain further but you already know that this is not biologically possible. Picture it;
(AA X AS) = SS. This just couldn’t be.

They visited several facilities to check the genotype of all three of them (Father, Mother and Child), but they kept getting the same result. They even took it a step further by taking a paternity test. Your guess is as good as mine because the husband was not the father. He was left with no choice than to suspect that his wife must have had an affair with someone with the genotype AS or SS. She swore on her late mother’s grave that she had never cheated and that she was just as confused as her husband.

One day this woman who was already devastated because her marriage was at the brink of collapse paid her best friend a visit. She couldn’t stop crying. Thankfully her best friend was a DNA Analyst and she advised her to do a maternity test. This was her only chance to prove she was innocent. She went in for the maternity test and it turned out she wasn’t the mother. This only meant one thing which was that she was given another person’s baby when she gave birth.

A big crime or negligence occurred at the hospital, but she was VINDICATED. There have been cases of paternity fraud, but there have also been cases of deliberate or inadvertent baby switching especially at birth. This is both ugly and sad, but it has happened and is still happening to innocent couples who just want kids they can call their own.

The good thing is DNA Testing takes no sides. It only amplifies what already is. Fortunately, we have helped to shine the light on situations that might seem as puzzles, such as this one, which is why we stand out.

If you encounter this type of situation or any other DNA related issue, be sure that we will be more than happy to help and we are just one call away.

Contact us on 08131123820 or send an email to info@lsdfc.org.

Till next week, stay energized.

Is Paternity Fraud high in Nigeria?

Once you hear the words  ‘DNA Testing’, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Paternity right? Well, “DNA Testing” is known as a sure way to establish relationship between individuals. It is also known to have helped tremendously in linking suspects to crime scenes. Today, we won’t be talking about crime scenes, instead, we will be talking about what comes to the mind of an average Nigerian once the word DNA is mentioned – PATERNITY.

It is believed that the rate of paternity fraud in Nigeria is high, and Nigeria ranks second in the world after Jamaica, but experts say this research might have been underreported or exaggerated as it wasn’t carried out on a random population.

A paternity test could be a Peace of mind Test or a Legal Test and one thing that is worthy of note is that a Paternity test is the most reliable scientific approach when a child’s paternity is in doubt.

There are several reasons why a man or woman would demand a paternity test. Some of these reasons include;

– Personal Reasons (Peace of mind Test)

– To establish legal parenthood (Legal Test)

– To obtain custody (Legal Test)

– To obtain child support (Legal Test)

Whatever the reason, Paternity Testing can be done quickly, with no inconvenience as LSDFC is just one call away. Accuracy of results is not something you should be worried about; it is our forte.

Do you have questions? Is there something we can help you with? Please call 08131123820 or send an email to info@lsdfc.org.

Till next week, stay energized.

LSD&FC aid in forensic investigation to convict Danish murderer

Since its first use in the mid-1980s to solve crime, forensic DNA testing has played an important role in the criminal justice system through aiding conviction of the guilty and exoneration of the innocent. It has also proved to be one of the most important and effective tools in crime investigation. When biological material is transferred between a perpetrator and victim in violent crimes such as murder and rape, the DNA recovered has the power to potentially identify the perpetrator. 

Forensic DNA analysis is being used to solve crimes globally. It can help when there are no eyewitnesses and no suspects. It is also useful to confirm or refute suspect/witness statements, reconstruct an incident, solve cold cases, and free convicts incarcerated for years. DNA is one of the most powerful forensic tools used by the police and prosecutors to bring criminals to justice by unequivocally linking them to a crime.  

An example of a case where forensics played a role in Nigeria, is the just concluded case between Peter Nielsen (the accused) and the Lagos State Government presided by Hon Justice Bolanle Okikiolu-Ighile. The accused was recently convicted on a 2-count charge of murder brought against him by the Lagos State Government in 2018. The Lagos State DNA and Forensic Center (LSD&FC) forensic scientists processed the crime scene, examined all evidence collected and performed DNA analysis of critical items of evidence, including fingernail clippings of one of the deceased. The forensic evidence submitted by LSD&FC assisted the investigators and prosecutors resolve the case. You can read the full story here: https://www.thestar.ng/dane-sentenced-to-death-for-killing-nigerian-wife-daughter/

Forensics investigation is no doubt a significant form of support for the criminal justice system and LSD&FC can help. For more information, contact LSD&FC via phone (+2348131123820) or email (info@lsdfc.org)