Trial of Suspected Muderer of Zainab Nielsen Continues Thursday

Trial of Suspected Muderer of Zainab Nielsen Continues Thursday

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 8:47 pm


Ali Zainab Nielsen aka Alizee, shot dead alongside her 4-year-old daughter, Petra Nielsen.

Akin Kuponiyi

A Consultant Pathologist, Professor John Obafunwa, today told a Lagos High Court sitting at Igbosere under cross examination that he was ordered to carry out a post mortem examination on
a Nigerian singer, Zainab Nielsen and her three-year-old daughter, Petra, who died of head injuries and asphyxia (or suffocation), by the coroner that conducted enquiry in the case.

He said that the coroner ordered the post mortem examination because it could fall under the categories of reportable deaths.

Obafunwa explained that reportable deaths are those that are suspicious, violent death, suicide deaths, asphyxia death, surgery death, industrial death of poisoning.

He said that in this case it was violent death which made the coroner to order the post mortem examination of the deceased victims.
Professor Obafunwa who was being cross-examined by the defence counsel Olasupo Shasore SAN, said that there are 20 causes of reportable deaths.

The pathologist who was testfying before Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile, said that there was a presumed or alleged asillant in this case, there was another person involved.

When asked if as an independent professional has a duty to acertain who that person was?
He said ” My duty is to present my report unbiased, the cause of the death is to be determined by the court”.

Shasore asked if it’s unusual for a husband’s DANA to be on the wife?

The professor responded that it is not unusual but depends on the location, the husband’s and wife’s DNA, was in the nails.

” Nails scrapings, it’s unusual to have another person’s not necessarily husband’s DNA, entrapped within the nails scrapings where there has been any contacts specifically scratching,” Obafunwa stated.

When asked if there were other instances in which the symptoms could occour, he said yes that there are other situations where one can have engorgement of the lungs, but added that in this case he has questionable asphyxia.

The defence counsel suggested that Petra was killed when her nose and mouth were forcibly closed which deprived her of oxygen, blunt force trauma.

In his response, the witness said that there was no toxicological substance of poisoning in Petra.

Asked if he took Petra’s nails scrapings, ‘No I did not, there was no indication’

In Petra’s case you mentioned Asphyxia with severe swelling in your evidence yesterday ?

” Yes, I tried to explain some of the things I observed, on the basis of resistances, in the difference between Zainab and Petra, there wasn’t that level of resistance from the child, the bruises, the abrations on the face of the mother, they were not present,” Obafunwa stated.

When asked if he could acertain who died first, he said he couldn’t acertain who died first because he wasn’t called when the incident occurred.

Mr Sasore also asked the witness if he took the family of the deceased into consideration when he visited the scene of crime.

He said ” I was not supposed to be talking to the family members, but I actually visited the scene with the people connected to the defendant, I am talking of lawyers, the Danish Consular and people from the embassy”.

When asked if he saw photographs of Zainab and Petra, when he visited the scene.

The pathologist said ” I was shown some photographs that were taken by the police of when the bodies were discovered, I made reference to an item in the photograph, in my report, but I did not include it in my report, I made reference to what I was told about the bodies location, the photographs were not taken by me, i couldn’t have included that because I did not generate them”.

” In one of the photographs, I observed foam in the mouth of Petra”.

Obafunwa had on Tuesday testified that the result of a DNA analysis of Zainab’s nail clipping revealed the presence of her DNA material and that of an individual described as Peter.

He had also told the court that the post-mortem examination of Zainab’s corpse suggested that she was killed when her nose and mouth were forcibly closed which deprived her of oxygen.

The witness said evidence showed that she struggled to free herself from her killer’s grip using her hands and nails

He said Zainab and Petra died of head injuries and asphyxia (or suffocation),
that were not self-inflicted.

He disclosed this in the twin murder trial of the deceased’s Danish husband, Peter Nielsen, 53, who is alleged to have killed Zainab, 29, and Petra 3, on April 5 at the couple’s Banana Island, Lagos home.

The case has been adjourned till November 29, tomorrow for continuation of trial.

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