The trial of Maryam Sanda, accused by the police of killing her husband, Bilyamin Bello will begin today. The police are expected to call its first witness.
The trial court in Jabi had adjourned the matter to March 19 for definite hearing, while striking out a bail application filed by Maryam Sanda.
However, on March 7, the court granted her bail application at the fifth time of asking.
Justice Yusuf Halilu, who had rejected her bail applications on four previous occasions, ruled that the court was satisfied with the health reasons canvassed for Sanda.
Upon striking out the earlier bail application on February 6, Maryam’s counsel, Joseph Daudu (SAN) informed the court of another application, which he said contains fundamental issue that challenges the mode the matter, was commenced.
However, police prosecutor, CSP James Idachaba countered this by informing the court that Section 109(d) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) has provided that criminal proceedings may be instituted “by information or charge filed in the court by any other prosecuting authority.”
He said the police are one of the other prosecuting authority covered by the provision and that the Supreme Court has confirmed this provision in its judgments.
He added that Section 105 of the ACJA has empowered the Attorney General of the Federation to request for case files of any criminal proceedings from the police, but until then, the police have the right to continue with the proceedings.
He said the prosecution brought five witnesses to court to prove its case and that “It should be on record that we are ready for the trial.”
Justice Halilu thereafter told the parties that there was nothing novel in the issues in contention and directed the parties to file a 2-page written address each to be adopted on the next adjourned date.
“It is not my pleasure seeing a mother, son, daughter and house-help standing murder trial before me. The earlier we do away with the matter, the better for the country, the defendants, and the prosecution,” he said.
He added that he does not think Maryam’s counsel was desirous of delaying trial, and added that “his observation should not be jettisoned just because we want to fast-track the proceeding.”