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8 Mar 2018

Murder Of Ex-PDP Chairman's Son: Why Court Released Maryam Sanda On Bail

A judge who released on bail the woman who allegedly stabbed her husband to death has given his reasons.
Maryam Sanda and her late husband
The reason why the court released Maryam Sanda accused of allegedly stabbing her husband, Bilyamin Bello, son of former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to death has been revealed.

Recall that an Abuja High Court sitting at Jabi, on Wednesday, granted bail to Maryam Sanda who had earlier been remanded in prison custody.

Trial Justice Yusuf Halilu who had on three previous occasions, dismissed applications that sought to release the defendant from prison pending the determination of the murder charge against her, said he was persuaded by fresh facts that emerged in the case, to change his mind.

According to Vanguard, the judge predicated his decision on a medical report he said indicated that Maryam had a critical health challenge that could not be effectively handled by the prison authorities.

Justice Halilu said the court was satisfied that the defendant was not only pregnant, but also asthmatic. He noted that the Nigerian Police Force which is prosecuting the case, was unable to disprove the claim that facilities inside the prison could not take care of Maryam’s health challenges.

Consequently, the court ordered the defendant to provide two sureties who it said must deposit the title deed of their landed properties in Abuja.

The court further directed that Maryam’s father must enter an undertaking to always provide her in court all through the trial. The case was subsequently adjourned till March 19 for trial.

In the charge marked CR/15/17 which Police filed pursuant to section 109(d) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, Maryam was accused of stabbing her husband to death with a broken bottle on November 19 at their Abuja residence.

The prosecution told the court that Bilyamin died as a result of several stabs on his chest and neck.

Police maintained that the defendant attacked her husband with the knowledge that her act was likely to cause his death.

She was equally charged with the offence of “causing grievious hurt”, contrary to section 247 of the Penal Code Law.

The late Bilyaminu who is a real estate developer, was the son of ex-PDP Chairman, Mr. Mohammed Bello Haliru.

However, Maryam pleaded not giulty to the charge, even as she begged the court shortly after her arraignment to release her on bail pending the trial, a request that was refused.

Police later amended the charge and added Maryam’s mother, Maimuna Aliyu, her brother, Aliyu Sanda and one Sadiya Aminu, as co-defendant in the matter.

The prosecution alleged that Maryam’s family members attempted to destroy evidence that linked her to the murder.

It alleged that upon realizing that an offence of culpable homicide was committed, the other defendants,”did caused evidence of the offence to dissappear”.

It said the other defendants had carefully cleaned the blood from the scene of the crime with the intention of screening the 1st defendant, Maryam from legal punishment.

According to the prosecution, the three persons involved in the scrubbing-off of murdered Bilyamin’s blood, by their action, committed an offence punishable under section 167 of the Penal Code Law.

The court granted Maryam’s co-defendants bail after they produced two surties each and surrendered their all their travelling documents.

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