A Lagos High Court in Igbosere on Tuesday heard that some of the biological material found on the night wears of a murdered Nigerian woman and her child, matched that of her Danish husband, Peter Nielsen.
Forensics scientist and Centre Director for the Lagos State DNA & Forensic Centre (LSD&FC), Dr Richard Somiari, told Justice Mobolanle Okikiolu-Ighile that Nielsen’s DNA profiles matched that of the male DNA samples found on the nightgown worn by his Nigerian singer wife, Zainab.
He said Nielsen’s DNA profiles also matched some of the male DNA samples found on the pyjamas worn by his three-and-half-year daughter, Petra.
Somiari, testified as the final prosecution witness in Nielsen’s trial for the April 5, 2018 death of Zainab and Petra.
The Lagos State Government accused the 54-year-old Dane of smothering Zainab and Petra to death at about 3:45 am at No. 4, Flat 17, Bella Vista Towers, Banana Island Ikoyi, Lagos.
Five people were said to be in the apartment on the night of the incident: Nielsen, Zainab, Petra and two of Zainab’s step-sisters; Gift and Favour Madaki.
Nielsen was arraigned last June 13, on a two-count murder charge, in accordance with Section 223 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
He pleaded not guilty, following which the judge ordered his remand for trial.
At the commencement of proceedings Tuesday, Somiari, who was led in evidence by Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Titilayo Shitta-Bey, explained the LSD&FC’s involvement in the case.
He said: “The Lagos State DNA & Forensic Centre was contacted on April 9, 2018 by the Nigerian Police to help process a crime scene. We responded on April 10 and visited the crime scene at Bella Vista Towers, Banana Island, Plot 4, Flat 17.”
Somiari said he and three members of his team, a police team, an anatomy and forensic pathologist from the University of Lagos Prof John Obafunwa, a representative of the Danish Embassy in Nigeria and a legal representative were at Bella Vista Towers.
The witness, who also holds a degree in Crime Scene Processing from a United States university, testified that after riding the elevator to Flat 17, they found “No sign of forced entry. The safe in the house, there was no evidence that it was tampered with.”
Somiari said his team observed stains, “which were eventually confirmed to be blood”, in the kitchen. Certain areas, he noted, appeared to have been cleaned.
“There was evidence of selective cleaning,” he added.
The team returned at night to deploy equipment which operated in the dark. They collected evidence and took it to the LSD&FC for analysis, the court heard.
Prodded by Shitta-Bey, the witness explained why he suspected that blood had been wiped off.
He said: “If there is no visible sign of blood and after you spray Luminol, blood is revealed, it suggests that there was an attempt to clean off the blood.”