A federal capital territory (FCT) high court will on Monday deliver judgement in the murder case against Maryam Sanda, the woman who allegedly stabbed her husband to death.
The court’s verdict comes two years after Sanda allegedly killed Bilyamin Mohammed Bello, her husband, at their residence in Abuja.
Sanda is a daughter of Maimuna Aliyu, a former executive director of Aso Savings and Loans Limited, while Bello was the son of Haliru Mohammed Bello, a former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
There are reports that she attacked her husband based on infidelity. She was said to have seen a SMS on his phone.
Sanda is said to have stabbed Bello thrice in the back. After stabbing him, she reportedly drove him to a hospital for treatment but he did not survive the attack.
A day after the incident, the police said they would investigate the matter and Sanda was subsequently charged to court on November 24.
ARRAIGNED ON DEATH PENALTY, REMANDED IN PRISON
The court sent Sanda to prison after she took a “not guilty” plea to the offence punishable by death. The police charged the suspect under sections 221, 240 and 247 of the penal code.
At the beginning of the proceedings, Sanda, who had a six-month-old baby, wept profusely.
On the next adjourned date, the court still refused to grant her bail. Joseph Daudu, Sanda’s counsel, had argued that his client was in need of medical attention.
The lawyer also said she needed time to attend to her 6-month-old baby. Despite the lawyer’s argument, bail was denied.
BAIL AT LAST
On March 7, 2018, the court finally granted Sanda bail. The court released her on bond after considering the medical report she presented. The reports confirmed that she was pregnant and sick at the time.
A WITNESS’S ACCOUNT
Before Sanda was arraigned, one Habib Gajam, a resident of Abuja, said on the night of the alleged murder, a friend of the victim tried to intervene “four times” but to no avail.
“Ibrahim called Auta (Maryam’s uncle) and Abba (Bilyaminu’s cousin) who had left the house moments before the drama started to intervene. After a short calm, Maryam broke a bottle of groundnut and attempted to stab Bilyaminu, again,” he wrote on Twitter.
“This time he held both her hands and struggled to take the bottle from her, injuring himself in the process. Unrelenting and wild, she bit his finger. Uncle Auta had arrived this time to calm the situation.
“They both committed to uncle Auta to let go of the grievances (at least for the night) After the situation had become calm, Bilyaminu and his friend went to the pharmacy to get his hand treated from the bite he sustained from Maryam.
“They later went to the ATM and made a withdrawal to pay up the balance of a spare part for Maryam’s crashed car. By 11pm, Bilyaminu and Ibrahim had gone back to a calm home. Abba (Bilyaminu’s cousin) joined them in the living room.
“They stayed till almost midnight and decided to call it a night. When Bilyaminu was seeing them off, he told Ibrahim that ‘I don’t want to go back until she’s asleep’. They called it a day. Abba and Ibrahim left.”
Gajam said family members were later summoned to the hospital where Bello was in the pool of blood with multiple stab wounds to the chest.
In December 2019, the court fixed January 27 for its verdict after Sanda closed her defence. She had initially filed a no-case submission but the court struck it out and ordered her to open her defence.
While adopting final written addresses, Fidelis Ogbobe, prosecuting counsel, said they had established that Sanda caused the death of her husband. He asked the court to “convict her and sentence her accordingly.”
Regina Okotie-Eboh, counsel to Sanda, argued that the prosecution failed to tender evidence to corroborate the allegations.
Sanda risks death penalty if convicted.
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