The Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square axis of the state has sentenced a Danish expatriate, Peter Nielsen, to death by hanging after being found guilty of murdering his Nigerian wife, Zainab, and daughter, Petra.
Nielsen was sentenced to death about four years after he was dragged before the court by the Lagos State Government for killing his wife and daughter at their apartment in the state.
The judgment, which lasted for about five hours at the court, was delivered by Justice Bolanle Okikiolu-Ighile on Friday after the Danish’s counsel failed to prove before the court reasons he should not be sentenced/
He was dragged before the court after killing the two victims on a two-count charge of murder contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos, 2015.
The state submitted that the defendant aged 53 allegedly killed his Nigerian musician wife, Zainab, and his daughter on April 5, 2018, at about 3.45 am at their Banana Island residence in the Ikoyi area of Lagos
At his arraignment on June 13, 2018, Nielsen pleaded not guilty to the two counts of murder following which trial commenced.
In her judgment, Okikiolu-Ighile said she relied on the post-mortem examination carried out by the consultant pathologist, Professor John Obafunwa on the deceased persons.
His examination had suggested that Zainab was killed when her nose and mouth were forcibly closed which deprived her of oxygen and that the deceased suffered bruises on her head and neck which were consistent with blunt force trauma.
According to the pathologist, Zainab and Petra died of head injuries and asphyxia (or suffocation) which could not have been self-inflicted.
On whether the deaths were caused by the defendant (Peter Nielsen), the court recounted several testimonies given by the prosecution witnesses including a housemaid, Zainab’s sibling, and two police officers who testified of incidents of domestic violence perpetrated by Nielsen on his wife.
The court mainly held that Zainab’s sister, Pepe, was a witness of truth and she had testified about a fight she witnessed between the couple in 2017, adding that the defendant had threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone about what she saw.
The late Zainab, aged 37 was popularly known as Alizee and was in the course of promoting her single, “Alhaji Musa” before she was murdered.
It would be recalled that Nielsen was arraigned on June 13, 2018, and pleaded not guilty to the two counts of murder punishable under Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.