The trial of a Danish national, Peter Nielsen, charged with murdering his Nigerian wife, Zainab Ali-Nielsen, better known in music circles as Alizee, and their daughter Petra, failed to continue on Monday at the Lagos High Court sitting in the Igbosere area of the Island.
Concise News reports that the State Deputy director of prosecution, Dr Jide Martins tells Justice Bolanle Okikiolu-Ighile, that the state’s last witness, Dr Somairi, was unavailable.
Dr Martins says, “My Lord, the matter for today is for continuation of the trial, but unfortunately, Dr Somairi who is our last witness, is not in court. We were in a pre-trial meeting on Friday and we realized that there are other pieces of information that are very essential and that information is not before the court. We hope that by Wednesday the information would be ready and we would serve the same on the court and the defence.
“Our application is for the court to vacate Tuesday and Friday’s sitting. He is a vital witness, whose testimony will help the court. We are still coming back on Monday.”
However, Justice Okikiolu-Ighile who was displeased says: “Learned Deputy Director, today is wasted, tomorrow is wasted, and Friday is wasted. You have disorganised my list.”
Defence counsel, Olasupo Shasore SAN also expressed displeasure at the development.
The former Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice suggest that it was about time courts began awarding costs against the state, when it foists unplanned adjournments on parties if the laws can be so amended.
“We are not in a position to oppose the state’s application. But with an IGR (Internally Generated Revenue) of over N30billion a month, the state is healthy enough to start paying costs,” Shasore tells the judge.
Also, he says, “We are not in a position to oppose the application of the prosecution.”
After listening to the submissions of both parties, Justice Okikiolu-Ighile adjourns the case to April 3 – for the continuation of trial.
At the last adjourned date of February 20, an assistant superintendent of Police ASP, Gafaru Oderinde, had told the Court that after he investigated the matter, he concluded that it was Peter Schau Nielson, who allegedly murdered his wife Zainab and daughter Petra. When asked if he investigated any other person apart from the defendant, he said no.
According to him, Nielsen in his statement had stated that he was still legally married in Denmark when he also legally married the late Zainab in Nigeria.
Oderinde says the defendant in his statement had also stated that when he met Zainab he had told her that he was still married and has two sons.
Nielsen, 53, was arraigned on June 13 on a two-count charge of murder, contrary to Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
The Lagos Attorney-General (AG) and Commissioner for Justice, Adeniji Kazeem had told the court that Nielsen murdered both Zainab and Petra at about 3:45 am at 4, Flat 17, Bella Vista Tower, Banana Island Ikoyi.
However, Nielsen denied the charge.