23 October 2018

Nigeria: Trial of Danish National Accused of Killing Wife, Daughter Opens Fresh Facts

The trial of a Danish citizen, Mr Peter Nielsen, who is being accused of murdering his Nigerian wife, Zainab Nielsen, an upcoming musician also known as Alizee and her three-year-old daughter, Petra, appears to have taken a new turn since the opening of trial.

The testimony of the three witnesses called so far now provides a new angle to the unfolding story.

In the first part of the trial which lasted three days before Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile of the Lagos High Court sitting in Igbosere, the court accepted the request made by defence counsel to gain access to the crime scene.

The defence team of seven lawyers is led by former Attorney General of Lagos State, Mr. Olasupo Shasore (SAN).

The court also ordered that blood samples of the late Zainab and those of her mother (Ruth Madaki) and her two step sisters (Gift and Favour Madaki) be taken for the purpose of scientific evidence.

During the trial, Peter Nielsen's former driver informed the court of how he was informed by security personnel from Bella Vista in Banana Island of the death of the late Zainab and her daughter.

The driver stated that he was in Kaduna on the day of the incident but immediately got on a Dana flight as soon as he was told about the sad incident.

The second witness was the house-help to the Nielsen family from February 2017 to the day of the incident. She gave her testimony to the court with the aid of an interpreter. Evelyn spoke in Hausa language.

In her testimony, she stated that she went to the Nielsen's apartment on the morning of the incident around 6.00 am and attempted to gain access into the apartment through the kitchen.

During cross-examination, she told the court that she had never seen Peter take drugs or alcohol nor seen him spank any of the children in the house, neither had she seen him or his wife quarrel or fight.

Mr. Christopher Madaki, the step-father to Zainab Nielsen and step grand-father to Petra Nielsen, was the third prosecution witness.

At the start of his testimony, Madaki refused to give his address in open court for security reasons.

Defence counsel questioned his statement and informed the court that Madaki did not want to disclose his address.

Shasore said he strongly believed that he currently lives in the house Peter Nielsen had built/bought for the late Zainab and Petra as insurance in case anything happens to him while in Nigeria.

Defence counsel also stated that Zainab had informed Mr. and Mrs. Madaki to vacate the house shortly before she was killed.

Mr. Madaki informed the court that he was a football coach, but Shasore said he stated in his statement to the Police that his occupation was "military".

Madaki said he got a call from Peter Nielsen on the day of the incident asking him that they (Mr. and Mrs Madaki) should immediately be on their way to Lagos.

He said they left Abuja via a Dana flight at 9.45 am and got to Lagos at around 10.25am, a statement, which Shasore said was contrary to what he said in his statement to the police, where he stated that their Dana flight left Abuja at 13.45pm and arrived Lagos 14.45 pm.

When his attention was drawn to the inconsistency, he claimed that his statement to the police was altered even though he did not state who he suspected to have carried out the alteration.

Justice Okikiolu-Ighile adjourned till November 27 for continuation of trial.

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