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February 20, 2019

Police are entitled to collect suspect’s DNA

Michael Oyamo
Michael Oyamo

Michael Oyamo, an aide to Migori governor Okoth Obado, is being held by police in connection with their investigation into the murder of Sharon Otieno.

On Monday Oyamo's lawyers complained that doctors had taken his DNA against his will. However the law is clear that the police are entitled to collect DNA from suspects.

Section 122A of the Penal Code states that a police inspector can require a person to undergo a DNA test if it would confirm or disprove that he or she was involved in a serious offence.

In any case doing a DNA test is not a big deal. Normally it only involves spitting saliva into a test tube.

In fact providing a DNA sample is less intrusive than having your fingerprints taken and that is accepted as a normal part of police procedure.

In the modern world DNA is as much a part of police investigations as fingerprints.

Both Oyamo and Governor Obado, if requested to do so, should provide DNA samples to the police without complaint.

Quote of the day: "The revolutionary sees his task as liberation not only of the oppressed but also of the oppressor."

Steve Biko

The South African anti-apartheid activist died in police custody on September 12, 1977.


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