Court denies Maryam Sanda bail, mother, brother arraigned
The judge, however, granted the other defendants bail on the condition that the defendants will produce two sureties with evidence of residence within Abuja.
They are also required to deposit their travel documents in court. The two sureties shall deposit documents for their landed property to the registrar of the court.
Maryam, daughter of a former Executive Director of Aso Savings and Loans, Hajiya Maimuna Aliyu Sanda, had been arraigned on November 24, 2017 on a two-count charge by the FCT Police Command on a two-count charge.
She was accused of killing her husband, Bilyamin Bello, son of Alhaji Haliru Muhammad Bello, a former chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Maryam was alleged to have caused the death of Bilyamin by ‘“stabbing him on the chest with a broken bottle” which eventually led to his death.
Sanda’s counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN), yesterday asked the court to grant Maryam bail on the ground that she had submitted a medical certificate showing that she was in need of health care, which could not be provided at the detention facility.
The senior counsel cited 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.
In his response to the application, the presiding judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, said the section cited by Daudu though relates to exceptional situation, the case presented in court did not prove to be so exceptional.
Justice Halilu said: “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.
“It is not enough to include a medical certificate. Efforts must be made to show that the defendant cannot be treated in the medical facility at the detention camp. 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.
“On the whole I am not favourably disposed to granting the first defendant bail. My discretion in her favour is hereby withheld,” the judge held.
Meanwhile, earlier in the proceeding, the FCT Police Command arraigned Maryam’s mother, Maimuna Aliyu and brother, Aliyu, over their involvement in the alleged murder of Bilyamin.
The court was inclined to provide an Hausa interpreter for one Sadiya Aminu who informed the court she does not understand English language.
All parties pleaded not-guilty to the two-count charge brought against them. Daudu thereafter applied for bail for the four defendants.
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