Why police can’t crack murder, fraud cases, by IG

To step up the fight against fraud, the police will soon get a forensic laboratory.

The laboratory will facilitate the investigation of cyber crime and Information Communication Technology (ICT) fraud, among others.

The foundation for the N77 million laboratory was laid in Lagos at the weekend by Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Works (‘C’ Department), Emmanuel Kachi Udeoji, who represented the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Abubakar.

The laboratory is being built by by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Police, in collaboration with the private sector and some individuals.

The laboratory will be available to investigators handling high-profile local and international fraud cases.

At the event, Abubakar promised to rehabilitate existing barracks nationwide, adding that the laboratory would cater for modern investigation that will boost police operation.

He said lack of a modern and well-equipped laboratory was responsible for the failure to crack murder and high-profile fraud cases.

Udeoji explained that most times, the Police patronise forensic laboratories abroad in a bid to unravel some high-profile crimes. The building, whose construction began immediately after the foundation, was named after former Inspector-General of Police, Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie.

The IGP said his management had resolved to breathe life into all police formations by upgrading the infrastructure there and improving the welfare of personnel.

He expressed appreciation to the “Stakeholders Forum”, an umbrella body under which public-spirited Nigerians came together to build for the police. The forum comprises members of Diplomatic Corps and wealthy Nigerians.

Abubakar hailed the forum for coming up with the idea of the construction of the laboratory. `

“It takes men of great character to put the idea of constructing the building with the calibre of officers and men who are running this unit and whose qualities we have all attested to; this cause will not be in vain,” he said.

Commissioner of Police in charge of SFU, Mr. Olatunde Ogunsakin, said the unit had contributed to the creation of special departments like economic governance, diplomatic fraud and human rights. These departments, he said, had yielded results in the fight against all forms of fraud.

Ogunsakin said the laboratory was to enable the police meet up with the demand of a well-equipped scientific investigation base.

“The foundation laying of the Ibrahim Coomassie Building is an additional feather to the cap of SFU which currently has 35 offices. It will enable its officers to discharge their duties to combat fraud and related criminal offences. In order to meet up with international standards, this project has incorporated the establishment of a modern Forensic Investigation Laboratory. This, no doubt, is to ensure the much-needed scientific analyses, especially now that the federal government is implementing the 100 per cent cash-less transaction policy.

“This project will also usher in a modern structure that will accommodate facilities for Internal Personnel Training, Archive, Clinic, Modern Interrogation room as well as an administrative office,” Ogunsakin said.

Chairman of the Stakeholders Forum, Prof. Adedokun Adeyemi urged the police to ensure that equipment for the forensic investigation were procured before the completion of the project.

Adeyemi, a professor of law and criminology at the University of Lagos, said non-availability of equipment was what worked against the reconstruction of the police forensic laboratory at Alagbon Close, which got burnt some years ago.