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Trial of Danish accused of killing wife resumes tomorrow


Peter Nielsen

A Lagos High Court, Igbosere will on January 16 resume hearing on the ongoing trial of Danish citizen, Mr. Peter Nielsen alleged of killing his wife, Zainab and their three year old daughter, Petra.
The Lagos State Government had charged Nielsen, 53, last June 13, 2017 with killing his wife Zainab, an upcoming musician also known as Alizee, and Petra before Justice Bola Okikiolu-Ighile.
They were found dead at their Bella Vista Apartment in Banana Island, lkoyi on April 5. The case has attracted local and international interest, with Danish journalists from TV2 Denmark in court to cover the trial, especially given the nature and circumstances of the deaths.  

At the last hearings on 28, 29, 30 November and 19 December 2018, the prosecution was led by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Mrs. Titilayo Shitta-Bey and the Defence was by Mr. Olasupo Shasore (SAN), a former Attorney General of Lagos State leading eight other lawyers from Africa Law Practice.

The prosecution called three witnesses. Prof. John Obafunwa, an anatomy and forensic pathologist conducted the post mortem examination on the deceased persons. Obafunwa gave evidence-in-chief and was cross-examined by Shasore on 29 November 2018. Obafunwa concluded that death in the case of Zainab Nielsen resulted from asphyxia with a closed cranio-cerebral injury. 

He arrived at this conclusion based on his findings in the course of his post mortem examination. He was of the opinion that the asphyxia 
was caused by smothering of the victim. With respect to Petra Obafunwa said that the deceased died as a result of asphyxia with severe brain swelling due to smothering. He disclosed that a toxicology report on Petra revealed that there was no evidence of poisoning in her system. 

This appears contrary to earlier reports that suggested that Petra had been fed poison by her father. Obafunwa pointed out the irregularity in the police handling of the matter, in that he was only called to examine the deceased persons on 10 April 2018, five days after the bodies were found. He stated that it would have been proper to call forensic experts immediately the deaths were discovered.He observed that certain changes may have occurred between the time the bodies were discovered and the time he finally got access to the bodies.  

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Peter Nielsen
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