The Nigerian Police Force, yesterday, alleged before an Abuja High Court at Jabi that family members of Maryam Sanda, wife of murdered son of erstwhile Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Bilyamin Bello, attempted to hide evidence against her.
Police, in an amended two-count charge it filed before the court, alleged that Maryam’s mother, Maimuna Aliyu and her brother, Aliyu Sanda, upon realizing that an offence of culpable homicide was committed, “did cause evidence of the offence to disappear”.
It said the duo, with the help of one Sadiya Aminu, 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. Consequently, Police re-arraigned Maryam alongside her mother, brother and Aminu, before trial Justice Yusuf Halilu yesterday.
Whereas Maryam was in the count-one of the charge marked CR/15/17, which Police filed pursuant to section 109(d) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, was accused of stabbing her husband to death with a broken bottle on November 19 at their Abuja residence. The three others were in count-two, charged with causing evidence of the crime to disappear. 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. Meanwhile, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge, even as they begged the court through their lead counsel, Mr. J.B. Daudu, SAN, to release them on bail pending the determination of the case against them.
While Daudu, SAN, stressed that allegation against Maryam’s family members was a bailable one, he pleaded the court to consider the well-being of the 1st defendant’s six-month-old baby and grant her bail pending the trial. Besides, the defence lawyer tendered a medical certificate he said showed that Maryam was suffering from a serious ailment.
He told the court that all the defendants were anxious for the trial to commence so that they could establish their innocence. However, in his ruling, Justice Halilu declined to release the alleged ‘killer wife’ on bail. The Judge ordered that she should remain in Suleja prison until February 5, 2018, when a full-blown hearing was scheduled to begin in the case.
Justice Halilu held that the defence lawyer failed to place sufficient material before the court to show that the undisclosed ailment the 1st defendant was suffering from could not be treated in prison. Nevertheless, the court granted bail to the three other defendants, saying they must, however, produce two sureties each. The court held that the sureties must show evidence that they are resident within the Abuja city center, as well as deposit title deed of their landed properties.
Besides, the defendants were asked to surrender all their travelling documents to the court. It will be recalled that the court had on November 24, 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.(Vanguard)