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19 Mar 2018

Maryam Sanda's Trial: Serious Drama As Witness Disappears In Court

A prosecution witness who was supposed to testify in the high profile murder case of Maryam Sanda, has disappeared in court.
File photo: Maryam Sanda in court
 A prosecution witness in the trial of Maryam Sanda for alleged killing of her husband, Bilyamin Bello, disappeared after arriving in court on Monday, Premium Times reports.

Mr. Bello was son of a former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Haliru Bello.

The witness, Alhassan Abdulmumin, had arrived the court premises with the prosecution team to testify in the two-count charge of culpable homicide brought against Mrs. Sanda and other defendants by the Police.

Others accused alongside Mrs. Sanda are her mother, Maimuna Aliyu, her brother Aliyu Sanda, and her house help, Sadiya Aminu.

The prosecution counsel, James Idachaba, while explaining the disappearance of the witness, said Mr. Abdulmumin left the court because he probably thought his testimony would not be heard based on the issues that arose during Monday’s court hearing.

Mrs. Sanda and the other accused are facing trial at a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory for the alleged offence committed in November 2017.

After several attempts to secure bail, the first defendant was allowed temporary freedom by the trial judge, Yusuf Halilu, with several conditions, including an undertaking from the defendant’s father to produce her in court till the end of the trial.

After granting the first defendant bail, the court adjourned the matter till Monday, for continuation of hearing.

When the hearing resumed on Monday, however, the defence counsel, Joseph Daudu, challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.

Mr. Daudu said the charge sheet did not comply with constitutional provisions and urged the court to dismiss the charge against his client.

Mr. Idachaba, however, objected to the motion filed by Mr. Daudu and prayed the court to continue with the matter, as planned during the last adjourned date.

Reacting to Mr. Daudu’s application, the judge said it should wait until the substantive matter is being entertained.

However, when the court asked the prosecution to produce its witness, the witness could not be found within the court premises.

“We arrived the court together, My Lord,” said Mr. Idachaba who further explained that he suspected that the witness erroneously believed the application challenging the court’s jurisdiction had rendered it impossible for the matter to proceed on Monday.

Subsequently, the case was adjourned till April 19 and 20.

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