Murder of ex-PDP Chairman’s son: Court sends alleged killer wife, Maryam to prison

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

An Abuja High Court sitting at Jabi, on Friday, ordered the Nigerian Police
Force, NPF, to transfer Maryam Sanda, wife of murdered son of erstwhile
Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bilyamin Bello, to Suleja
Prison.

Trial Justice Yusuf Halilu gave the remand order after Maryam was arraigned
on a two-count charge of culpable homicide punishable by death under
section 221 of the Penal Code Law.

In the charge marked CR/15/17 and dated November 20, and 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.

According to Police which filed the charge, Bilyamin died as a result of
several stabs on his chest and neck.

Police told the court 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.

Meanwhile, Maryam who is a nursing mother, pleaded not giulty to the
charge, even as she begged the court to release her on bail pending the trial.
The defendant, through her lawyer Mr. Useni Musa, prayed the court to
consider her six-month old baby and grant her bail pending determination of
the charge against her.

However, trial Justice Yusuf declined her plea which he said was improper in
the eyes of the law.

The trial Judge said he could not release the defendant on bail on the
strength of an oral application. He ordered the defence lawyer to approach
the court with a formal bail request.

The court ordered that the defendant should be kept at Suleja Prison till
December 7 when her full-blown trial will commence.

Meanwhile, Maryam who was brought to court alongside her six-month old
baby girl wept uncontrollably immediately the court ordered her remand in
prison custody.

The defendant who wore a red gown and covered her head with a green veil,
tightly clutched her baby to her bossom as her stream of tears flowed.
She was subsequently moved out of the court by a team of armed police men
and prison officials.

The defendant was previously in police detention.

The Federal Capital Territory Police Command had earlier obtained two weeks
remand order against the defendant to enable it to conclude investigations on
circumstances that led to Bilyaminu’s death.

The Command said it decided to retain Maryam in its custody instead of
remanding her in prison considering the fact that she is nursing a baby.
Spririted effort by the defence lawyer to persuade the court to allow Maryam
to remain with the police pending ruling on her bail application, failed on
Friday.

Justice Yusuf insisted that once an accused was arraigned, he said the
proper place of custody was the prison and not the custody of the
investigating agency.

Meantime, the prosecutor, Mr. James Idachaba, told the court that the two-
count charge was a product of a preliminary investigation.

Idachaba said the charge could still be amended owing to new facts he said
emerged after further investigation was conducted on the matter.

The two-count charge against the defendant read: “That you, Maryam Sanda,
female, adult of No.4 Pakali Close, Wuse 2 Abuja, on 19/11/2017 at about
0350hours at No.4 Pakali Close, Wuse 2 Abuja within the Abuja Judicial
Division, did commit the offence of culpable homicide punishable with death in
that you caused the death of one Bilyaminu Bello Haliru, male adult of No. 40
Pakali Close, Wuse 2 Abuja by stabbing him on the chest with a broken bottle
which eventually led to his death and you did so with the knowledge that
your act is likely to cause his death.

“You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 221 of the
Penal Code Law.

“That you, Maryam Sanda, female, adult of No.4 Pakali Close, Wuse 2 Abuja,
on 19/11/2017 at about 0350hours at No.4 Pakali Close, Wuse 2 Abuja within
the Abuja Judicial Division, did commit the offence of causing grievous hurt in
that you stabbed one Bilyaminu Bello Haliru, male adult of No. 40 Pakali
Close, Wuse 2 Abuja with a broken bottle on the neck thereby endangering his
life. You thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 240 (g) and
punishable under Section 247 of the Penal Code Law.”

Source:Vanguard

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