The trial of a Danish national, Peter Nielsen, who was accused of killing his Nigerian wife Zainab and his three-year-old daughter, Petra, resumed today 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.
He was giving evidence as the 10th defendant’s witness.
Nielsen was accused of killing his 37-year-old wife, Zainab 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,” he said.
“Her dedication and perseverance to hard work drew me closer to her and she worked hard to achieve her dreams,” the defendant said.
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,” he told the court.
“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.
He also 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.
“I need a couple of days to get the evidence.
“I pray the court for an adjournment to enable me get this piece of evidence”, the lawyer said.
The Prosecutor, a Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Adebayo Haroun, did not object to the adjournment.
Justice Okikolu-Ighile, adjourned the case to November 9 for further hearing.
She said: “The defendant is further remanded at the Ikoyi prison.”
On June 13, 2018, the Lagos State Government had arraigned the 53-year-old Nielsen on two counts of murder.
He, however, pleaded not guilty.
In the counts, he was said to have killed his wife and daughter at about 3:45 am on April 5, 2018, at their Banana Island residence in the Ikoyi area of Lagos.
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 Neilsen 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.
“He had dragged their bodies under the gas to create the impression that they suffocated to death as a result of a gas leakage,” said CSP Effiong Asuquo.
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.