By Onozure Dania
The Lagos State Government, will on May 10, tender a fresh DNA, the evidence against a Danish National Peter Nielsen accused of killing his wife, Zainab and daughter Petra.
He was arraigned on June 13, on a two-count charge of murder, before a Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere.
The offence committed is punishable under Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Five people were alleged to have been in the apartment on the night of the incident: Nielsen, Zainab, Petra, Gift and Favour Madaki, both of whom are Zainab’s step-sisters.
The government accused Nielsen of beating and smothering Zainab and Petra to death on April 5, 2018, at about 3:45 am at 4, Flat 17, Bella Vista Tower, Banana Island Ikoyi.
Nielsen, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
On the last adjourned date on March 25, the state had asked for an adjournment to enable it to secure its final witness, a forensic expert, and serve other “information that is very essential” to the defence.
At the resumed hearing of the matter, yesterday, the defence counsel, Olasupo Shasore SAN, informed the court that the prosecution had not kept to its word about the date it promised to serve the new information.
Shashore said: “We were served, contrary to the undertaking, on Friday, 25th of March, at 3:35 pm, with a bundle of papers containing two new documents, and crucially, my lord, a brand new DNA report. A new report containing DNA analysis.
“The report is styled ‘Forensic DNA superceeding report’. It concerns matters that occurred almost a year ago. The defendant was arraigned in this court in June 2018, a period of almost nine months.
“The state has prepared two DNA forensic reports, from which we prepared our defence. We are greatly prejudiced, that on the eve of the testimony of a forensic expert, the state will introduce new evidence without availing us of the opportunity to consider expert advice on this.”
A report that seeks to discountenance all we’ve done for the last nine months.
“We are disappointed at the conduct of the state, for putting us in this state. We are hereby applying for an adjournment, based on these, and we are at great pains to do so.
“To compound this, the state served us yesterday, a flash drive containing detailed DNA analysis, almost 100 pages of scientific analysis, yesterday.
“We are at great pains to seek this adjournment because we are anxious that the defendant will be set free.”
In her response, Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, Titilayo Shitta-Bey, said: “I want to apologise to the Learned Silk, the service of the flash drive was not an ambush, or an attempt to delay the trial.
“My lord will recall that at the beginning of this trial, the prosecution made an application for biological samples from the defendant for DNA analysis, and the court granted the application.
“The defendant’s blood samples were collected during the trial and subjected to various tests to build his DNA profile.
“It is the outcome of the tests carried out on the defendant’s samples that are now incorporated, served on the defence, titled ‘Forensic DNA superceeding report’.
“However, in view of the concerns of the Learned Silk, I will not be opposing the application for adjournment.”
Following the application made by Nielsen’s counsel, Shasore, Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile fixed May 10, to enable the defence to examine the new DNA evidence brought against the defendant.