Judgment Day for Danish Nielsen accused of Killing Nigerian wife, Zainab Ali, child

Peter Nielsen and his wife Zainab Ali, ak.a Alize

Peter Nielsen and his late wife Zainab Ali, a.k.a Alize

By Chinyere Omeire

A Danish, Peter Nielsen, accused of killing his Nigerian wife, Zainab Ali and daughter, will know his fate on May 6.

Justice Bolanle Okikiolu-Ighile of a Lagos High Court sitting at Tafawa Balewa Square scheduled judgment in the murder trial after submissions at the adoption of final written addresses by defence and prosecution counsel.

The judge overruled an application by defence counsel, Mr Olasupo Shasore (SAN) to discharge and acquit the defendant.

She ordered that the defendant should be further remanded at the Ikoyi Prisons.

Shasore made the application while adopting his final written address.

Nielsen, 54, is facing a two-count charge of murder.

He was accused of killing his Nigerian wife and singer, Zainab Ali, a.k.a Alize and their three-year-old daughter, Petra.

The alleged murder occurred on April 5, 2018.

Shasore urged the court on Tuesday to discharge and acquit Nielsen of the murder charge.

The senior advocate of Nigeria based his submissions on two issues which, he said, related to the constitutional rights of the defendant.

He mentioned the first issue as fair hearing for the defendant.

Shasore referred the court to Paragraphs 4. 31 to Paragragh 4.33 and Pages 46 and 47 of the prosecution’s written address which had to do with the night gown Zainab wore the night she was allegedly killed.

According to him, access to the night gown was expunged.

He said that defence was concerned with the defendant’s fair trial as provided in Section 36 (6) (B) and (D) of the Constitution.

He cited the ruling of the court on July 19, 2021, in which the judge dismissed an application seeking to discharge Peter Nielsen.

Shasore said that he had filed an application for production of the night gown (Exhibit PWN) for DNA test.

He said that he had applied for a search on the court’s record but was told that the night gown could not be found due to the burning of the court on Oct. 21, 2020, during the #EndSARS protest.

He said that by virtue of Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution, a right of the defendant had been violated.

“When we made our application, we did not know that Exhibit PWN would not be found.

“In the absence of Exhibit PWN, it means that the defendant’s constitutional right has been violated.

“Also, the court itself has been deprived of the opportunity to evaluate Exhibit PWN.

“This is the night gown the deceased was wearing at the time of her death.

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“The expert witness called by the prosecution, in his testimony, based his entire evidence on PWN,” Shasore said.

He told the court that Section 262 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State empowered the court to adopt all measures to enable it do substantial justice to the case.

“Substantial justice will not be done if Exhibit PWN is not produced.

“I submit that your lordship should make an order that the defendant should be discharged.

Okikiolu-Ighile had on July 19, 2021 ruled that the submission of the defence counsel was premature, though brilliant.

Okikiolu-Ighile had held that both prosecution and defence called several witnesses and tendered several exhibits which were not premised only on the said exhibit.

She held that at the end of the proceedings, when all the evidence would have been given and final written addresses adopted, the court would evaluate the totality of all the evidence before it.

According to Shasore, the second issue is that of an eyewitness as a crucial point.

He said: “We submit that there was no eyewitness; the so- called eyewitness, in her evidence, said she was behind the children’s door.

“From the position of the door, being behind the children’s door to see the master’s bedroom, is practically impossible.

“The pictorial presentation shows a forceful entry and damage to the door.

“We urge your lordship to consider all our submissions, especially that all the pieces of evidence collected by the state were not produced.

“I urge the court to uphold our argument and acquit and discharge the defendant so that he can properly mourn his wife and daughter.”

Earlier, Shasore apologised to the court for late filing and serving of his final written address.

“I apologise for late filing. We filed our reply this morning, we did everything we could to file yesterday but couldn’t.

“Our final written address is dated March 1, and filed on the same day, it contains our final arguments.

“We humbly adopt the arguments as contained in the written address.

“We urge the court to favourably consider our arguments and discharge and acquit the defendant,” the SAN said.

In his response, Lagos State Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Mr Adebayo Haroun, said prosecution’s final written address was dated Feb.18 and filed on Feb.21.

He prayed the court to adopt the submissions and arguments and rely on all the authorities cited.

Haroun said: “We have replied to all the issues raised by defence, including the two points raised by the learned senior counsel.

“The prosecution has been able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Peter Nielsen murdered Zainab Nielsen and Petra Nielsen on April 5, 2018.

“My lord, we do not have anything to add to the final written address, we urge your lordship to convict the defendant as charged”.

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