From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The planned re-arraignment of Maryam Sanda, who allegedly stabbed her husband, Bilyaminu Bello, son of a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Haliru Bello, to death was stalled, yesterday.
Meanwhile, Justice Yusuf Halilu has ordered that Maryam be returned to Suleja prison pending the new date for her arraignment fixed for December 14.
The arraignment was stalled following an amended charge that was brought by the Police which listed three other people to be arraigned alongside Sanda, including her brother.
Maryam Sanda reportedly stabbed her husband, Bilyamin Bello, to death. She allegedly to have killed her husband by stabbing him with a knife.
At the last court sitting on November 24, the prosecuting counsel, Mr James Idachaba, prayed the court to adjourn the matter to enable the filling of an amendment based on new facts.
The filling of the amendment charge consequently brought in the other defendants.
Justice Halilu, therefore, said it was necessary to wait for the prosecution to bring the other defendants before further action could be taken on the matter.
Halilu said: “I have listened to the defendant’s counsel and I will not grant her bail, all arguments about her bail application shall be taken together on Thursday, December 14, when all other co-defendants will be brought to court. “We must be very tidy. I am a judge with principle, the prosecution has enough time to encourage the sureties to look for other defendants; this is an amendment charge, you must make extra effort to get other defendants arraigned before me.
“In the meantime, the defendant should be taken back to Suleja prison.”
Earlier, Idachaba had told the court that all efforts to bring other co-defendants were not possible as their present location could not be ascertained. He said it had been very difficult for the prosecution to serve the co-defendants and prayed the court to adjourn the matter to another day. “We will do our very best to bring them to court; the bail application should not be taking now since others are not here; there is a new charge before the court and some other prove of evidence. “We feel it may not be necessary to take the bail application now; this should be in the interest of justice. We pray the application should be adjourned to be taken with the new amendment charge,’’ Idachaba said. On his part, the defendant’s counsel, led by Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN), informed the judge that “more papers and better affidavit to defend the matter had been filed before the court.” According to Daudu, there is no law that guides the application of the prosecution that bail should not be granted in the absence of co-defendants.
“What the prosecution is saying is strange; we cannot suffer for their ill preparedness, the former charge before the court upon which the defendant is charged should be taken. “We urge the court to exercise its discretion and rule on the bail application because the place where the defendant is, is not conducive. “It is bad for a woman nursing a child like her to be in that place, I orally pray the court that she should be released on bail,’’ Daudu said.
While the hearing lasted, a group protested outside the court room carrying placards with inscriptions: “No to violence against men’’, “I endorse equal rights to men camapign’’.
The Coordinator of the group, Miss Awojola Kehinde, said “No to violence against women had been on the centre stage before now; it was time to start campaign to end violence against men.”