Charles Fabunmi is the Head, Marketing of Bode Du Laboratory Technology Limited, a DNA centre at Oyibo Adjnarho Street, off Admiralty Way, Lekki Peninsular, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos.
He has been in the business of DNA for four years. He told ENCOMIUM Weekly his experience about the business in Nigeria.
How did you come into DNA business?
(To start with, we have changed our name from Bode Du Laboratory Technology to BODU Universal Technology)
BODU Universal Technology came into DNA Business for its forensic application. DNA Test was necessary and employed to affirm the position of one of our client (PUNUKA Attorneys and Solicitor) on a very crucial matter. Going forward, we have handled DNA as a forensic apparatus used for sourcing evidence, enhancing investigations, identifying lost/missing persons and for solving human and societal problems.
When precisely will you say you came into DNA test business?
BODU Universal Technology operationally came into DNA Test Business since 2012.
What exactly do you do in your DNA centre?
Like I said, we have a forensic approach to DNA test; we look at it beyond mere paternity ascertaining. Our range of service at BODU Universal includes: paternity test, we identify missing/lost persons, we re-unite families scientifically, we provide evidence for identifying rapists, we stop child trafficking, we supply Forensic DNA test kits, we build forensic DNA laboratories, we seek collaborations from relevant organisations and investor towards establishment of forensic/DNA centre in the country, we promote other use of genomic centre especially for fighting cancer and other deadly diseases.
Will you say the business of DNA is worthwhile?
It’s worth it. The need is there. We need to domicile the technology for us to take fuller advantage of the business opportunities in Forensic/DNA.
When Nigerians hear about DNA, their minds go to the issue of paternity test. Is it this same thing with you at your centre?
In our centre, our approach is more than just paternity test. Profiling is the most crucial thing in any DNA test, once this is done, you can do a lot with the DNA profile of a person. You can identify the fellow at any time, trace evidence is possible, paternity can be established, maternity can also be established, closure is enhanced, crime can be solved, the list goes on.
What does it involve in doing DNA test in your own centre?
We receive get the client to submit samples and information regarding the request. The sample(s) (blood, bone, body parts, saliva, hair etc) is/are profiled, analyzed, improved upon, matched etc based on the request and peculiarity of each case..
For how long does it take between the test and the result?
Based on peculiarity and request, results can be turned out in 3 – 5 working days for DNA profile, paternity and maternity tests. For ascertaining rapists, human identifications and other cold cases results may take a longer period.
Where abroad is your DNA laboratory?
United States of America.
How much does it cost to do a DNA test in your centre?
If we domesticated the technology, the price can be 120% cheaper than the average price. And the TAT will sure be bettered. But for now, it costs N90, 000 for paternity test and N65, 000 for profiling which are the commonest cases. Cost for other services will be determined based on peculiarity and requirements.
A lot of people believe that the DNA test has exposed the issue of infidelity in marriage. Is that the same with you going by those you have done paternity test for?
That is very difficult to say. Don’t forget that there could be accidental or deliberate baby swap in hospitals. The cases of “baby factories” are everywhere. There are also cases when both parents are not the biological parents of the child they call theirs. There are also issues of child trafficking. Children are trafficked out of the country with NIS passports without NIS scientifically verifying relationship. All these can be resolved or slow downed with DNA Test.
DNA is not just for the issue of infidelity in marriages alone. Rape either single or multiple is in the increase because forensic/ DNA tests is at its ebb in our part of the world.
Is it possible to know whether a man raped a woman or not, even, when there is no pregnancy or baby involved?
Of course, that is why I said our approach to DNA issue is not just for paternity test but a forensic approach. If you have sex with a woman, you have deposited a part of you in her. There are so much evidence you are leaving behind when you forcefully have sex with a woman. Your hair semen, etc, are all evidence.
But from your own personal experience as DNA expert, has there been a time a man brought all his children for paternity test and none of them is biologically his?
There have been several cases like that. That is not new. That is one of the essences of DNA. Before somebody says I want to do a DNA test, something must have triggered it. At times, he may find out his suspicion is right.
In all, what will be your success and failure rate of those who have done DNA test in your centre?
If you meant success rate, those who the alleged fathers are the biological fathers and failure rate the other way round? I will not give you figure but the former is more with us.
Can you give a conservative percentage of those who have passed and failed paternity tests?
That is 65 percent are those that have passed and 35 percent for those that failed the test.
Have you ever had a case of a man who came with three or four children and none of them is his.
No, Just two children. But I have heard of four and none of them is his.
Can you, please tell us more about yourself?
I am Charles Fabunmi. Head, Marketing BODU Universal Technology.
What course did you do?
I have been in marketing all my life. I have worked as a Pharmaceutical Sales Rep. I have been into Hospital Supplies, Banking, Information Processor, Cyber Forensic, mostly from Business and Marketing perspective.
What actually did you study?
Lagos State University, Ojo.
When did you graduate from Lagos State University?
How old are you?
Will you say DNA business is lucrative in Nigeria?
Forensic/DNA Business is absolute lucrative. It has a potential of 2 years PBP and IRR of close to 100%.