Nigeria’s Judiciary

By Onozure Dania & Shedrack Ikudehinbu

Justice Bolanle Okikiolu-Ighile, of a Lagos High Court sitting at Tarfa Balewa Square, Monday fixed March 1, 2022, for the adoption of final written addresses in the ongoing trial of a Danish man, Peter Nielsen, accused of killing his Nigerian wife and daughter.

The judge adjourned the case after the defendant’s counsel, Mrs D. O. Oyewale, applied for a short date to enable them reply on points of law.

Oyewale informed the court that the prosecution just served them with their written address in court.

“The prosecution just served us in court this morning.

“We are requesting for a short date to enable us reply on points of law,” she said.

Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Mr Adebayo Haroun, Lagos State Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, told the court that the defendant served them with their written address on February 1.

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Haroun, said that he needed time to study the address before filing his reply, “that is why we served the defendant this morning”.

Nielsen was accused of killing his Nigerian wife and singer, Zainab, and their three and half-year-old daughter, Petra, on April 5, 2018.

At the last adjourned date, the defendant told the court that he realised that his wife and daughter had died before a doctor arrived their home.

Nielsen said he then covered them with two blankets after realising that they had died.

The defendant said this during his cross-examination.

Nielsen told the court that he woke up at 2:30 a.m. on April 5, 2018, and got snacks and drinks for his wife and daughter before going back to sleep.

The defendant said when he woke up in the morning and did not see his wife on their bed, he went to search for her.

Nielsen said that when he saw his wife and daughter in their kitchen, he dragged his wife to the living room and asked one of the girls living with them to carry his daughter.

“I covered my wife and daughter with blankets after I tried to resuscitate them but realised that they had died,” the defendant testified when asked if he already pronounced Zainab and Petra dead before a doctor arrived.

The Lagos State Government accused the defendant of smothering Zainab and Petra to death at 3:45 a.m. on April 5, 2018 at 4, Flat 17, Bella Vista Tower, Banana Island, Ikoyi.

Nielsen was arraigned on June 13, 2018.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the two counts of murder punishable under Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.

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