By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – Maryam Sanda, who was remanded in prison custody for allegedly killing her husband who is the son of former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bilyamin Bello, on Monday, told the trial court that she is three months pregnant.
The alleged ‘killer wife’ begged trial Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Abuja High Court sitting at Jabi to reconsider an earlier application she filed to be released on bail pending the determination of the murder charge against her.
Maryam’s lawyer, Mr. Joseph Daudu, SAN, urged the court to take pity on her client who he said would require proper medical attention at this early stage of her pregnancy.
Besides, Daudu, SAN, said he has raised objections against the competence of the charge which he said ought to have been commenced with a First Information Report, FIR, as envisaged under the Penal Code.
The defence lawyer further contended that the Nigerian Police Force failed to secure the consent of the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, before it filed the charge.
Meantime, Justice Halilu adjourned the matter till Wednesday to decide whether or not the defendant should be released on bail based on her pregnancy claim.
Police had through its lawyer, Mr. James Idachaba, opposed Maryam’s fresh bail application, saying there was insufficient evidence before the court to prove that she is indeed three months pregnant.
It will be recalled that Justice Halilu had previously rejected plea for the defendant who is nursing a six-month old baby girl, to be released from Suleja prison on bail.
The court had on November 24, 2017, remanded Maryam in prison after she 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 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 subsequently 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.
Nevethless, the court granted Maryam’s co-defendants bail after they produced two surties each and surrendered their all their travelling documents