History of the Center of Forensic Programmes and DNA Studies
The popular adage that there is nothing without a beginning also applies to our centre. The history of the Centre for Forensic Programmes and DNA Studies can only be told by the principal founder that is Associate Professor Edeaghe Ehikhamenor who is incidentally is also the founder of Save Accident Victims of Nigeria (SAVAN). His passion and activities in SAVAN has a legendary multiplier effect.
As at 2012 cases of unknown accident and disasters victims posed a major challenge to his SAVAN’s activities. The situation got so bad that there were cases of family picking the wrong dead body from the mortuary and several mass burial of victims without proper identification. It was the combination of these challenges with his encounter at the United State embassy where he was requested to do a DNA paternity test for his four children prior to relocating them to the United State, that compelled him to develop deep rooted curiosity of DNA paternity test. Based on his quest for knowledge for DNA, he wrote a proposal to attend the practical laboratory DNA training program at Paleo DNA centre, Lake Head University, Ontario Canada.
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) Abuja provided him with fellowship to attend the training programme. The participation and the successful completion of that training programme in Canada can be considered as a major foundation of the Centre for Forensic Programme and DNA Study. Despite the politics, bureaucracy and stiff opposition from several quarters, he never relented. Prior to the formation of the Center he also founded Forensic Research and Development Center (FORDEC), which was duly registered as an NGO with the Cooperate Affair Commission Abuja.
FORDEC as a forensic research group was a major platform that enable him to voluntary assemble intellectuals from diversed backgrounds and disciplines, thus FORDEC was not just a research group but a major pressure group that acted as a catalyst. For him to sustain his advocacy, FORDEC was acting as his source of inspiration and major power house for all ideas to be nurtured to ensure the development of a training centre that will accommodate all disciplines that are interested in the science of forensic and DNA knowledge.
After several up’s and down’s with proposal of curriculum to the post graduate school to the senate, it was finally at the emergency meeting of the senate held on 29th September 2017 that the Centre for Forensic Programme and DNA Studies was finally approved, with the administrative section deriving its legitimacy and strength from the office of the Vice Chancellor while the academic section derived its legitimacy from being under the department of Oral Diagnosis and Radiology, school of Dentistry, Collage Medical Science University of Benin. The approval was greeted with so much enthusiasm and the Centre was found eligible to run post graduate diploma that will last one academic year for full time and two academic years for part time. Recommendation was made for the Center to work with the director of academic planning to process the necessary application to National University Commission (NUC) to make the Centre autonomous research unit thus, the first intake of the Centre is expected to resume in 2018/2019 academic session. The vision of the Centre or mandate is to create an enabling academic environment for all student or stakeholders with diverse disciplines, but with a common goal thirsty for the knowledge of forensic and DNA without prejudice to race, colour, religion or gender. Hence, our motto is knowledge based on evidence. To ensure that our centre is regarded for excellence we have timeline of development to accommodate all aspect of forensic and DNA studies.
First phase involve DNA analysis, forensic toxicology, forensic document examination, digital forensic, forensic for the bar while the second phase will focus on forensic account auditing, forensic medicine, trace evidence, dope test, social work, pathology, etc..
The essence of this diversity is to be able to accommodate disciplines from different academic background with passion for forensic
The Centre remains eternally grateful to the following under listed;
- Almighty God for his grace and mercy
- The former Vice Chancellor Professor G.O. Oshodin and his management team
- The present Vice Chancellor Professor F.FO. ORUMWENSE and his management team
- The former Provost, Professor Vincent Iyawe
- The former dean professor Obuekwe Ozomene
- The senate, University of Benin
- School of post graduate studies
- Board of studies school of dentistry
- Paleo DNA laboratory Canada
- Professor Barry Logan, foemer president of America Academy of Forensic Sciences
- Dr. Helen Kest founder of Fountain of Living Water, USA
- Executives and all FORDEC members, for all their wonderful support in ensuring the creation of this Centre.
Others too numerous to mention for all their wonderful support.