A prosecution witness, Babashola Afolayan, yesterday told a Lagos High Court in Igbosere that its prime suspect in the murder of Nigerian singer Zainab Nielsen and her three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Petra, is Peter Schau Nielsen, her Danish husband.
Afolayan, a police inspector, testified before Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile in Nielsen’s trial following Zainab and Petra’s death on April 5 at the couple’s Banana Island, Lagos, home.
Nielsen, 53, was charged with the killings last June 13, on two counts of murder, contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Five people were said to be in the apartment on the night of the incident: Nielsen, Zainab, Petra, Gift and Favour Madaki, both of whom are Zainab’s stepsisters.
Lagos Attorney-General (A-G) and Commissioner for Justice Kazeem Adeniji SAN, told Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile that Nielsen beat up and smothered Zainab and Petra to death about 3:45am at No. 4, Flat 17, Bella Vista Tower, Banana Island, Ikoyi.
Nielsen denied the charge.
Following the continuation of trial yesterday, Lagos State Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Titilayo Shitta-Bey re-introduced Afolayan as the state’s 7th witness.
Shitta-Bey, on January 16, concluded her examination of Afolayan, following which the court adjourned till yesterday for the witness to be cross-examined by the defence.
During cross-examination by defence counsel Mr. Olasupo Shasore SAN, the witness said he was on the crime scene between 9am and 5:09 pm on April 5, 2018.
He testified that the Police identified Nielsen as its principal suspect following investigation of the scene of the crime, among other factors.
When Shashore, a former Lagos State Attorney-General, asked the policeman whether he questioned the couple’s neighbours, investigated the Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) on the premises, or checked the phones and checked for fingerprints, the witness said he did not see any other suspect, as the defendant was the only suspect.
Afolayan told the court that the defendant was the only suspect because, among others, his wife had earlier made allegations of battery against him.
He said about 2am on July 18, 2017, Zainab came to the Ikoyi Police Station to file an assault complaint against Nielsen.
The witness said: “On July 18, 2017, the defendant’s wife came around 2am and complained about the defendant that at about 1am, he pushed her to the bed, pressed her neck and beat her up. It was a case of assault and occasioning harm against the defendant. She further reported that that day’s incident was the third time.
“She added that she suspects that he is a drug addict, because whenever he took drugs, he beat her up. All of these made him to be the principal suspect.”
Following the conclusion of cross-examination, Justice Okikiolu-Ighile adjourned further hearing till February 20.