A Danish national, Peter Nielsen, has pleaded not guilty to charges of killing his Nigerian wife and their three-year-old daughter.
Nielsen is currently standing trial at the Lagos High Court, sitting at Tafa Balewa Square, on Lagos Island.
The defendant who took the witness box in his own defence told Justice Bolanle Okikolu-Ighile that he did not kill his wife and daughter. Nielsen spoke while giving evidence as the 10th defendant’s witness.
Nielsen was accused of killing his wife, Zainab, 37 and his three-year-old daughter on April 5, 2018. Led in evidence by his counsel, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Olasupo Shashore; the defendant narrated how he met the late wife when he came to Nigeria to invest in agriculture. He said he loved her and they lived a very active and happy life.
“I did not kill my wife and our daughter, Petra. We had a fantastic relationship.
“Her dedication and perseverance to hard work drew me closer to her and she worked hard to achieve her dreams,” he said.
Furthermore, Nielsen said before he got very close to Zainab; he informed her that he was married in Denmark with two adult children.
“When Zainab became pregnant, her mother (Pastor Ruth Genesis) persuaded me to marry her so she would not have a child outside wedlock.
“I told her I would marry Zainab because of the love I have for her not because of pregnancy.
“On June 21, 2014, we got married at the Ikoyi registry,” Nielsen said.
Additionally, he told the court that three prosecution witnesses who gave evidence in court as Zainab’s family members were not present at their wedding. At this point, the defendant’s counsel, informed the court that he had a piece of evidence he needed to tender before the court.
The Prosecutor, a Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr. Adebayo Haroon, did not object the request for an adjournment. Consequently, Justice Okikolu-Ighile adjourned the case to Tuesday, November 9, 2021 for further hearing. Also, she ordered that the defendant be remanded at Ikoyi Prisons.
The Lagos State Government had arraigned Nielsen on two counts of murder on June 13, 2018. In the two counts, he was accused of killing his wife and daughter at about 3:45 am on April 5, 2018 at their Banana Island residence in the Ikoyi area of Lagos.
However, he had pleaded not guilty to both counts.
Before his arraignment, a Chief Magistrate court sitting in the Yaba area had ordered his remand in custody. The police had told the Magistrate that Nielsen hit his wife’s head against the wall several times; inflicting fatal injuries which led to her death. He was also said to have poisoned his daughter and tried to cover up the murders as a domestic accident.
Until her death, the wife Zainab, was a Nigerian singer popularly known as Alizee. Nielsen faces a possible death sentence, if found guilty of the offences.