Types and frequency of fingerprint minutiae in individuals of Igbo and Yoruba ethnic groups of Nigeria

Utomobong Udom Akpan, 'Tope Emmanuel Awe, Daniel Idowu, khalid O. Adekoya


The population distribution of fingerprint minutiae is necessary to improve efficiency of fingerprints in identifying individuals in a population-specific manner. The objective of the study was to determine the distribution of different types of minutiae fingerprint feature in two Nigerian ethnic populations. Fingerprints from forty-four (44) Igbo individuals and forty-four (44) Yoruba individuals, both of Nigeria were collected using a manual impression method that uses ink pad and paper. Of all the minutiae types considered, bifurcations and convergences accounted for 54.85% of the study’s total minutiae counts (TMC). This study shows that the Igbo ethnic group consistently have higher count of all minutiae types and higher total minutiae counts for both hands statistically significant at P<0.001. We found association between gender and minutiae distribution in some minutiae types including fragment/point or dot (FP), overlap (OL) and break (BR). This work revealed important variations among individuals from the two ethnic groups on the distribution and variability of minutiae in Nigeria populations.

Keywords: Dermatoglyphics, fingerprints, forensic, Igbo, minutiae, Nigeria, Yoruba.

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