The trial of Danish man, Peter Nielsen, for allegedly killing his Nigerian wife and daughter at the Lagos state High Court continued on Tuesday, December 14, with the suspect telling the court that he did not immediately realize his wife and daughter had died when he found them lying on the ground in their apartment.
The Lagos State Government has accused the defendant of smothering his Nigerian wife and singer, Zainab, and their three-year-old daughter, Petra, to death on April 5, 2018, at their residence on Banana Island, Ikoyi. Nielsen was arraigned on June 13, 2018.
He, however, pleaded not guilty to the two counts of murder which contravene Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015. During his cross-examined by the prosecution counsel for the Lagos State Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Adebayo Haroun, on Tuesday, Nielsen told the court that when he woke up around 2:30 am on April 5, 2018, he got snacks and drinks for his wife and daughter before going back to sleep, adding that he did not perceive the “smell of gas” in their room at that time.
According to him, when he woke up in the morning and did not see his wife on their bed, he went to search for her. He said when he later saw his wife and daughter in their kitchen, believing they were unconscious, he took her to the living room and asked one of those living with them to carry his daughter.
“I covered my wife and daughter with blankets after I tried to resuscitate them but realised that they had died,” the defendant testified when asked if he knew Zainab and Petra were dead before a doctor arrived. It was learnt that the defendant was also asked to confirm some evidence given to the court by their housekeeper, one Evelyn, the second prosecution witness.
The defendant, while answering the questions, confirmed what Evelyn had given in evidence. Nielsen, however, disclosed that the housekeeper used to enter the kitchen through the back door or front door, depending on what she had to do. He said the housekeeper was staying at the boy’s quarters adjoining their residence.
The prosecutor prayed the court for an adjournment of the case, saying he got a call that required him to attend to a personal matter. Justice Bolanle Okikiolu-Ighile, therefore, adjourned the case until January 11, 2022, for the continuation of the hearing.