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Abuja Husband Killer to Remain in Jail Pending Trial


An Abuja Federal High Court Apo, Thursday, denied bail to Maryam Sanda, who allegedly murdered her husband, Biliyanu Haliru Bello in their Wuse 2, Abuja home in November.
Maryam Sanda was alleged to have stabbed her husband, Haliru Bello to death over allegations of infidelity.
At the re-arraignment of Sanda, Thursday, alongside her mother, Maimuna Aliyu; her brother, Aliyu Sanda; and Sadiya Aminu for the alleged murder and concealment of evidence from crime scene, her counsel, Joe Daudu, pleaded for her bail, citing section 161 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, which deals with exceptional cases and prayed the court to consider the health condition of the first defendant and her eight month old baby who would require constant motherly care.
Mrs. Maryam Sanda is the daughter-in-law of a former Peoples Democratic Party chairman, Mohammed Bello.
Daudu asked the court to grant his client bail on the grounds that she (Maryam Sanda) had submitted a medical certificate showing that she was in need of health care which could not be provided at the detention facility.
Reacting to the submissions of Daudu, the prosecution lawyer, James Idachaba, said they had filed a counter affidavit and a written address in response to the bail application.
He said the law does not impose any duty on the prosecution when it comes to the issue of bail.
“The duty of convincing the court lies solely with the applicant for bail and at the discretion of the court,” Idachaba said.
He stressed that the court should exercise its discretion ‘judicially and judiciously’.
“Regarding the issue of baby, my heart goes out to the innocent baby. But the law is clear and we cannot use that as a ground,” Idachaba added.
Speaking about the other three defendants, Idachaba acknowledged the fact they have enjoyed administrative bail, but added that haven being brought to the court, their bail application is strictly at the discretion of the court.
Responding to both submissions of the counsel, Justice Yusuf Halilu said although the section cited by Daudu relates to exceptional situation, the case presented in court did not prove to be so exceptional.
The Judge further said that although the issue of bail is at the discretion of the court, three factors are most important in deciding the bail of an applicant in court.
“Although Section 36 (5) of the Constitution presumes an accused person innocent. However in circumstances such as this, the judge’s discretion shall be exercised judicially and judiciously.
“The nature of the charge, the evidence before the court and the punishment likely if the suspect is found guilty are the most important ingredients.
“I have gone through the arguments of counsel for the defence and that of the prosecution as well as section 161 (2) of the ACJA relied upon by Daudu with regards to exceptional cases.
“However, there must be cogent evidence to show that the sickness the first defendant is suffering from is that which cannot be taken care of within the medical facility. It is not enough to include a medical certificate. Effort must be made to show that the defendant cannot be treated in the medical facility at the detention camp.
“I have seen from where I am which is close to the duck that the first defendant is strong enough. The first defendant who has been inside the duck for over an hour is very strong.
“On the whole I am not favourably disposed to granting the first defendant bail. My discretion in her favour is hereby withheld,” Justice Halilu said.
The Judge however granted the other defendants conditional bail.
“With respect to the other defendants, the offence with which they are charged is a bailable one. The learned counsel submitted that they brought themselves to court this morning. That they would not jump bail.
“The prosecution had submitted that they were granted administrational bail. But when the court prompted further, he said that they should be kept in custody.
“Bail is not meant to punish defendants,” the Judge said, adding that the three other defendants would be granted bail with the following conditions: The defendants shall produce two sureties with evidence of residence within the centre of Abuja: they shall deposit their travel documents in court. The two sureties shall deposit documents for their landed properties to the registrar of the court.”
The case was adjourned to February 5, 6 and 7 for trial.
Maryam Sanda is accused in the first charge of allegedly stabbing Bilyaminu multiple times with the aim of killing him. The offence is punishable by death.
Count two of the charge indicts the three other defendants of being accomplices to the crime by allegedly cleaning out the blood of Haliru from the crime scene, in an attempt to conceal evidence from appropriate authorities.

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