Ex-PDP chairman’s son: Killer-wife pleads not guilty, remanded in prison

Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Jabi, yesterday remanded Mrs. Maryam Sanda in Suleja Prison for allegedly stabbing her husband, Bilyaminu Bello Haliru, to death. The late Bilyaminu was the son of former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mohammed Bello Haliru, who is facing trial for alleged fraud. Maryam Sanda, a nursing mother, was said to have stabbed her late husband several times on the chest and neck region with broken bottle on November 19, 2017 in their Abuja residence, which led to Bilyaminu’s death. She was consequently arraigned on a two-count charge filed same day by the FCT Commissioner of Police pursuant to Section 109(d) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015. The prosecution counsel, James Idachaba, pleaded that the charge be read to the defendant to enable her take her plea, but when the two-count charge marked CV/15/17 was read to her, she pleaded not guilty. Though Idachaba informed the court that the instant charge was a product of preliminary investigations, he said that new facts have emerged which could warrant the filing of an amended charge against the defendant. Having denied committing the offence, the prosecution counsel requested for a date for the commencement of trial. Counsel to the defendant, Useni Musa, did not oppose the adjournment. However, the court rejected his oral plea for Maryam to be released on bail to enable her attend to her six-month old baby girl as Justice Yusuf noted that the application was legally improper. Consequently, definite hearing of the case has been fixed for December 7, 2017 and the defendant remanded in prison. According to the charge, Maryam Sanda, on 19/11/2017 at about 3.50a.m at No.4, Pakali Close, Wuse 2, Abuja, “did commit the offence of culpable homicide punishable with death in that you caused the death of one Bilyaminu Bello Haliru…by stabbing him on the chest with a broken bottle, which eventually led to his death and you did so with the knowledge that your act is likely to cause his death. “You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 221 of the Penal Code Law. “That you, Maryam Sanda…did commit the offence of causing grievous hurt in that you stabbed one Bilyaminu Bello Haliru…with a broken bottle on the neck, thereby endangering his life. You thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 240(g) and punishable under Section 247 of the Penal Code Law.”

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