Security agents have been urged to make use of a DNA test to detect crimes, rather than resorting to the use of torture and other inhuman and degrading treatments, to obtain information from suspects.
A Benin-based legal practitioner, Barr. Dele Igbinedion, gave the advise in Benin, Edo State on Wednesday, while delivering a lecture, titled “Eliminating Torture in the 21st Century,” at an event organised by the Edo Civil Society Organisations, (EDOCSO), to mark the World Torture Day.
He said the world is moving very fast in crime detection such as the use of DNA and that it expedient that the country’s law enforcement agencies should also move with the global trend of international best practices of crime detection instead of still maintaining the old order.
According to him: “The world is moving away from torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment torture as a way to force people to confess to crimes. It is always believed in forensic legal science that every criminal leaves a trace of himself at the scene of crime. It could be the way of blood tissues, or sweat, clothe, shoes, or finger prints.
“So, the essence of that forensic science is to be able to use those evidence left by criminals to detect them.
“DNA refers to testing people’s blood. Each of us in our blood system has different configuration, all the people on earth, God made it in such a way that we have different blood configuration.
“So, if my blood is tested, it will be different from yours, yours will be different from mine but those of me and my children will bear a similarity.
“So, it is expected that the police and other security agencies should have a data base for finger prints, and the blood components of each individual, hospitals will have it so that when crime is committed, they can use it to detect the person that committed the crime.
“The law now outlaws torture, inhuman and degrading treatment as a tool of crime detection,” he said.
The legal practitioner however called on Nigerians to endeavour to know their rights and always call for a third party when giving statement to any law-enforcement agencies.
“The administration of criminal justice act or law which we call the ACJA or ACJL has made provision to safeguard against that and one of the silient provision is that, any suspects that is being interviewed by security agencies must have a person of his choice present when he is writing or making his statement.
“Such person could be either his lawyer, a member of civil society organization, it could either be member of the justice of the peace or anybody of his choice,” he added.
The convener and Coordinator-General of EDOCSO, Comrade Omobude Agho, said the essence of marking the day was to consciencetize the citizens of the importance of knowing their rights.