The aim of the Adamawa DNA Forensic Laboratory, dedicated to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) investigations, is to get evidence for the conviction of GBV perpetrators in court, especially rape cases.
The Head, Forensic Unit, Modibbo Adama University (MAU), Yola, Jaafar Jaafar, made this known in an exclusive interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola on Sunday.
He said that the laboratory, which is the first of its kind in the country, is being run by the Modibbo Adama University, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA Nigeria) and the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative.
The head, who stressed the importance of evidence toward proving a rape or other forms of GBV cases in court, added that “before now, prosecutors were faced with the challenge of not having clear proof to convict perpetrators. It was very difficult.”
“But with forensic evidence from sample collected from the vagina of suspected rape survivor, the problem is solved if the sample matches what is seen from the perpetrator, or otherwise.
“This is because a man’s semen will not just enter the vagina like that.
“To see the DNA of the perpetrator in the vagina, definitely there has been penetration; that is the most important thing. Now, it is very easy to prove who the perpetrator is.
“And if the survivor claims that the act was done forcefully, medical examination will equally corroborate that.”
Mr Jaafar said that the forensic laboratory received and analysed more than 60 samples between July 2021 and 14 September 2022.
He added that some people had lost confidence in the prosecution of rape and other forms of GBV cases in the past, saying the establishment of the Adamawa Forensic Laboratory has restored their hope.
He stressed that with proven evidence, perpetrators of rape and other forms of GBV would not go free anymore.
He, therefore, urged the public to promptly report cases of rape to hospitals, the police and relevant authorities “and not to wash out anything on the body of the survivor.
“This is because any delay or washing may lead to loss of evidence.”
Launched in Yola in 2021, the forensic laboratory will help to accelerate access to justice for GBV survivors, he said.
Even though it is in Yola, Nigeria, countries in West and Central Africa can also access the laboratory.
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