DANISH MURDER TRIAL ‘FOR JUSTICE; POLICE MUST CONDUCT INVESTIGATIONS DILIGENTLY’ – SHASORE FMR LAGOS ATTORNEY GENERAL
The sensational trial of Danish citizen, Mr. Peter Nielsen continued yesterday 20 February 2019 before Justice Okikiolu-Ighile sitting at the High Court of Lagos State, Igbosere, accused of killing rising pop star wife and
The Nigerian trial being followed by the international media where Prosecution was led by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Lagos State Ministry of Justice, Ms Titilayo Shitta-Bey and the Defence was led by Mr. Olasupo Shasore SAN, a former Attorney General of Lagos State where he challenged the two police witnesses about diligent investigation, particularly in a trial showcasing Nigeria’s justice system to the international audience. The trial is attended every time by the Danish Ambassador and embassy staff with danish television crew in attendance.
The prosecution called Inspector Babashola Afolayan of Ikoyi division and Prosecution called its eighth (8th) witness, Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Gafar Oderinde.
Even though the state contended that the police conducted a thorough investigation the danish nationals lawyer Shasore SAN in cross examination was able to bring to the court’s notice the fact that the seasoned Inspector had not – reviewed the CCTV footage from the apartment building; checked the telephones of occupants of the apartment; inspected all the rooms in the apartment or even spoken with the neighbours around the apartment before he came to a conclusion that the defendant was the only suspect.
Mr. Shasore SAN who is a listed defence counsel with the International Criminal Court at The Hague Netherlands, and of ALP Legal the law firm chosen by the Danish, stated that the role of the police is vital and if the police themselves do not conduct their investigation diligently then there could be a miscarriage of justice. In fact, Mr. Shasore SAN asked the investigator if he agreed that this case depends on investigation and a good investigation will lead to justice and a bad investigation would lead to injustice in this case, the Inspector answered in the affirmative.
ASP Gafar is a police officer attached to the Homicide Department of the State CIID Yaba, who took over the investigation of the case from the police officers at Ikoyi Police Station.
ASP Oderinde gave evidence-in-chief narrating his investigation which commenced on 6 February 2019. He stated that his decision to arraign the Defendant was based on his findings in the course of his investigation including: that the Defendant was the only adult male in the apartment; there was no evidence of any break-in; the nanny who could have gained access into the apartment through the kitchen door could not do so because the door was locked from behind; and the wound on the Defendant’s finger could not be attributed to a fall as the Defendant alleges.
The Court adjourned the case till 25 March for continuation of trial.