Press release, April 12, 2010

EFCC goes CSI - EU funded Project supports EFCC in the establishment of its Forensic Laboratory

Forensic experts from the United Kingdom and United States of America are currently in Abuja providing mentoring and training assistance to the forensic unit of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The forensic lab, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria and the on-going forensic mentoring programme, form a strategic component of a 25 Million Euro programme funded by the European Union and aimed to upgrade the operational capacity of the EFCC.

This programme, which is being implemented by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), has been providing support to the EFCC in several areas, including the establishment of a world-class IT system, training and mentoring, as well as several research and advocacy initiatives.

The mentors who are experts in forensic fingerprints identification, computer forensics and documents analysis are in Abuja on their second visit providing hand-on training to the young scientists in EFCCs forensic laboratory. They also support the laboratory in the development of standards, protocols, procedures, and workflows consistent with the international standards and best practices for forensic laboratories.

The Head of the EFCC forensics unit, Mr. Muazu Abdullahi, in a briefing to the EFCC media unit on the activities of the forensic unit identified the various sections of the unit as; fingerprint forensics, forensic photography, computer forensics, document forensics and mobile phone forensics analysis.

The mentors were impressed with the progress made by the EFCC in the establishment of the laboratory and the calibre of professionals working within it. Ms. Susan Morton, a retired forensic expert of the San Francisco Police Department, stated that the lab will help "EFCC agents prove cases which would otherwise be difficult to prove, increase the number of convictions by EFCC prosecutors and protect innocent people who may have been wrongly accused". She observed that the lab is equipped to handle investigations dealing with suspect documents e.g. forged cheques, passports or ID cards and counterfeit money, crime scene investigation and retrieval of fingerprints and hardware of cofisticated computers.