A Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Yaba, Lagos State, on Wednesday ordered the remand of Peter Nielsen, the 53-year-old Danish national accused of killing his wife and their three-year-old daughter.
Peter was arraigned on two counts of murder before Chief Magistrate Kikelomo Ayeye.
He would be kept in the Ikoyi Prison pending legal advice from the state Directorate of the Public Prosecutions.
This is just as the police claimed that investigation into the murder showed that the suspect allegedly poisoned his daughter after allegedly killing his wife.
Our correspondent had reported that the victims – Zainab Nielsen, aka Alizee, a Nigerian singer, and her daughter, Petra – were found dead last Thursday at their residence at Bellasta Towers, Banana Island, Ikoyi.
Peter was arrested by operatives from the Ikoyi Police Division and transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, for further investigation.
The Lagos State police spokesperson, SP Chike Oti, had said that marks of violence were found on the deceased, noting that they were allegedly killed in their bedroom and dragged to the kitchen.
He said Zainab’s younger sister, Gift, who lived with the family, had reported to the Facility Manager, Bellasta Towers, Mr. Kunle Kukoyi, that she heard her sister cry around 4am that day while she was being allegedly assaulted by the suspect.
A police prosecutor, CSP Effiong Asuquo, on Wednesday brought Peter before the Yaba Chief Magistrate’s Court on two counts of murder.
The charges read, “That you, Peter Nielsen, on April 5, 2018, at Block 4, Flat 17, Bella Vista Towers, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did unlawfully kill your wife, one Zainab Nielsen, aged 37, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
“That you, Peter Nielsen, did unlawfully kill your daughter, Petra Nielsen, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.”
The defendant’s plea was not taken.
While presenting an application for Peter’s remand, the prosecutor said investigations had linked the defendant to the murder.
He said around 3am on the day of the incident, two housemaids, who lived with the family in the same flat – Gift, 13, and 11-year-old Mimi – saw Peter hitting Zainab’s head on the wall, adding that the singer died from injuries she sustained.
“Upon the wife’s death, the defendant administered poison on the little daughter who also died. He then dragged the dead body of his wife to the kitchen and took the lifeless little girl and put her under the mother’s body. He then put on gas stove burners in the kitchen so that it would be believed that the wife and daughter were suffocated by the cooking gas,” he added.
Asuquo, who said investigation showed that the defendant was always violent with his late wife, claimed that there was “overwhelming forensic evidence” linking Peter to the assault and murder.
He said, “The offences, which the defendant has committed, are capital offences and thus the defendant needs to be remanded in prison pending legal advice from the Director of Public Prosecutions and proper arraignment and trial before the High Court.
“It is in the national interest that the suspect remains in prison pending legal advice and his arraignment and trial at the High Court.”
The counsel for the defendant, Mr. Frank Amah, announced his appearance in court.
The presiding magistrate, Ayeye, held that the defendant be remanded in prison and adjourned the case till May 8, 2018.