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Determind to ensure hitch free elections next year and provide a platform for the successful prosecution of electoral offenders, the police hierarchy has embarked on the training of scientists in forensics and DNA Technology.

The training, when put to use for the 2011 elections, according to knowledgeable police sources, will guide against multiple voting and other fraudulent practices.

The police will also establish Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) in every state for use in large scale civil identification projects to prevent multiple enrollments for the electoral system, for drivers licensing and background checks for job applicants for highly sensitive posts.

According to the police, the move is to help prosecute, successfully, electoral offenders and prevent a recurrence of litigation that trailed the 2007 elections, in which aggrieved politicians had to engage foreign forensic experts to prove through scientific means that they were robbed of victory in the elections.

Andrian Forty, a British forensic expert, was engaged by the Osun State Action Congress (AC) governorship candidate, Engr. Rauf Aregbesola, to use scientific means to analyse materials used during the 2007 gubernatorial polls in the state.

Onovo told the Nigerian Compass on Saturday that the police was fully prepared to ensure that votes count during the next elections.

He said, “The police will employ highly developed technology to uncover scientific evidence relevant to criminal investigation. In order to enhance the capacity of the Forensic Laboratory, 40 trainee Scientific Officers and 50 trainee Scientific Technicians have been recruited and they are undergoing basic police training.

“In addition, three officers are undergoing a six months training on DNA Technology at Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.”

Onovo stressed that the AFIS equipment made it possible to enrol the biometrics and mug shots, fingerprints and palm prints of the militants recently granted amnesty by the Federal Government.

“In addition,” he said, “a team of Forensic Science Officers were in Spain for months to enrol the biometric data of over 5,000 Nigerians domiciled in Spain, who are to be granted European Union permanent stay documents.

“AFIS has been established in over 21 states and five new modern stand alone fingerprint biometric computers have been acquired.”

While commending state governments for also lending their support to the fight against crime, Onovo said, “In keeping with the fundamental tenets of democratic policing, our call for logistic support from relevant stakeholders, including government at all levels, yielded positive results. In the last one year, my administration received overwhelming support from the various state governments.”

Onovo acknowledged the receipt of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), patrol vehicles, horses, bullet proof jackets, batons, anti-riot helmet, shield, and communication equipment from the state governments.

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Autor(en)/Author(s): Dipo Kehinde

Quelle/Source: Nigerian Compass, 05.09.2010

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