The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Jabi, on Thursday dismissed the bail application filed by Maryam Sanda, who is being prosecuted for allegedly stabbing her husband, Bilyamin Bello, to death on November 19.
But the court granted bail to her mother, Maimuna Aliyu; brother, Aliyu Sanda; and another person, Sadiya Aminu, the three co-defendants with whom the prime suspect was re-arraigned on Thursday.
In the amended two counts preferred against the four of them, Maryam is accused in the first count of committing culpable homicide punishable by death under section 221 of the Penal Code Act.
She was accused of causing the death of her husband, Bilyamin Bello, who was said to be a son of a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Haliru Bello, “by stabbing him on the chest and other parts of the body with a knife and other dangerous weapons which eventually led to his death.”
She allegedly stabbed the deceased at their residence at 4, Pakali Close, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, on November 19, 2017, “with the knowledge that his death would be the probable and not only the likely consequence of your act.”
The three others were in the second count, specifically accused of causing the “evidence of the offence to disappear” by “cleaning the blood from the scene of crime with the intention of screening one Maryam Sanda from legal punishment.”
The trio’s offence was said to be punishable under section 167 of the Penal Code Act.
Maryam was earlier arraigned on November 24 on two counts of culpable homicide and causing the deceased grievous hurt, previously preferred against only her.
But the prosecuting counsel, Mr. James Idachaba, told the court on December 7 that the charges had been amended to have the three others joined as co-defendants.
After they all pleaded not guilty to the amended two counts, on Thursday, their lawyer, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), argued their bail applications.
But the bail applications were opposed by the prosecution.
Ruling on the applications on Thursday, the judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, held that he was “not favourably disposed to” granting bail to Maryam.
The judge noted that although there could be exceptional circumstances envisaged under section 161(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, to grant bail to a defendant facing murder charges, such circumstances had not arisen in Maryam’s case.
The judge also held that her status as a mother nursing an eight-month-old baby was not part of exceptional circumstances that could warrant her being granted bail.
The judge, however, held that the offences the three others were accused of were bailable and granted them bail.
She therefore ordered them to submit their passports and present two sureties who must be resident in the city centre of Abuja as sureties.
The judge adjourned till February 5 for trial.