Why court refused Maryam Sanda’s second bail application

Maryam Sanda
File photo of Maryam Sanda, with a blue veil covering her face,sitting beside her house-help and police officer at the court.

The Federal Capital Territory High court has refused an application for bail brought by Maryam Sanda, the daughter-in-law of former Peoples Democratic Party chairman, Haliru Bello.

Mrs. Sanda is facing a two-count charge of homicide for the alleged murder of her husband, Bilyamin Bello. The deceased was the son of a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Haliru Bello.

The court presided by Justice Yusuf Halilu refused the application because the defence counsel is preparing an appeal, intended to challenge the court’s initial denial of bail to Mrs. Sanda in December.

The counsel to Mrs. Sanda, Joseph Daudu, defended his decision to file the new application for bail. According to Mr. Daudu, nothing concerning the appeal at the higher court will affect the second request for bail.

He also said the application at the appellate court was totally different from the new motion for bail and should not be considered the same or as an abuse of court process. Mr. Daudu also said his client had abandoned the appeal filed before the higher court.

“The appeal is an abandoned lifeless appeal and therefore cannot constitute an abuse of process,” he said.

The prosecution counsel, James Idachaba, however disagreed with the defence. Mr. Idachaba said the motion at the Appeal Court carries the same date as that on the new application for bail. He, therefore, asked the court to consider the filing of the separate applications, bothering on a single subject, as an abuse of court process.

“The date the motion was filed needs to be looked into because the date tallied with the date the appeal was also filed. This is not sufficient to deem the appeal abandoned. The relief sought in the appeal are the same with the motion before the court and this is an abuse of process,” Mr. Idachaba said.

Mr. Halilu said it would be practically impossible for him to yield to the arguments made by Mrs. Sanda’s counsel, Joseph Daudu.

“A notice of appeal is the life wire. Notice of appeal is the originating process which sets in motion an appeal process. The grounds for the appeal is to set aside my earlier ruling and grant first defendant bail.

“Once an appeal is filed, the lower court can still entertain further applications, but once it is entered, the lower court cannot hear any matter in it again.”

“I’m afraid that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for Daudu’s argument to sway me. The motion is hereby accordingly struck out,” the judge ruled.

The case was subsequently adjourned to March 19.



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