The Federal Capital Territory, Abuja Command of the Police, on Monday asked the FCT High Court in Jabi to dismiss the objection filed by Maryam Sanda and her three co-defendants, challenging competence of the murder charges instituted against them in respect of the death of her husband, Bilyamin Bello.
Sanda allegedly stabbed the deceased, who was said to be a son of a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Haliru Bello, to death in Abuja on November 19, 2017.
She and and her co-defendants, had through their objection, urged the court to dismiss the two counts instituted against them by the police.
They also, in another leg of the application, prayed the court to order the prosecution to provide them with certain exhibits in the custody of the prosecution within 14 days.
But Justice Yusuf Halilu, after taking arguments from both the prosecution and the defence, on Monday, deferred his ruling till when judgment is to be delivered in the case.
The deferment of the ruling, according to the judge, was in line with the provisions of section 396 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
Sanda, pregnant and also nursing a baby of less than a year old, is being prosecuted on two counts, alongside her mother, Maimuna Aliyu; brother, Aliyu Sanda; and their house help, Sadiya Aminu.
Her three co-defendants are being prosecuted for 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.”
Sanda, who wore a flowing black robe with a black veil completely covering her face and head, on Monday, made her first appearance in court after she was granted bail and released from Suleja prison in Niger State on March 7, 2018.
She was offered a chair on which she sat inside the dock in the middle of the proceedings.
But the rest of three defendants who had been granted bail in February this year, remained standing in the dock throughout the proceedings.
Through their lawyer, Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), the four defendants had filed an objection to the charges, praying the court for among others, an order quashing the charges for being “incompetent, null and void”.
Another leg of the application urged the court to furnish or grant them “unhindered access” to all materials relevant to the case.
The materials sought by the defendants included “all statements” by the defendants, all the investigation police officers and any other person, in the course of investigating the complaint leading to the charges instituted against the defendants.
They also sought to be furnished with the coroner’s report on the death of the deceased.
They also asked to be granted access to “original copies of all photographs taken”, weapons, including knife and broken pieces of ceramic plates used in the commission of the alleged offence, for their inspection.
Other materials sought to be allowed to access were, a ‘scrap iPhone’, ‘clothes with blood stain’, and ‘Compact Disk ROM’, as referred to by the prosecution in their additional list of evidence.
Relying on the provisions of section 376 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the defendants’ lawyer, Daudu, argued on Monday that the charges filed by the police were incompetent as long as they had failed to obtain the opinion of the Attorney-General of the Federation’s office on whether or not the evidence gathered was sufficient to prosecute the case.
He insisted that the procedure highlighted in section 376 of ACJA were conditions precedent which the police must follow before the charges could be instituted.
He added that such charges could only be initiated by the AGF not the police.
According to him, without the procedure being followed, “it means there is no charge”.
On the other leg of his client’s application requesting access to some materials in the custody of the police, Daudu said, his clients were entitled to being granted an access to the exhibits in the custody of the police in line with their right under section 36(6)(d) of the Constitution, which provides that all defendants must be given adequate time and facility to defend themselves.
Responding, police prosecutor, Mr. James Idachaba, urged the court to dismiss the defendants’ objection but should only deliver ruling on it at the time of delivering judgment in the case.
Idachaba argued that the objection to the effect that the charges were incompetent, null and void “is totally misconceived”.
According to him, Section 376 of ACJA cited by the defence had to with the criminal proceedings initiated before the Magistrates’ court but which the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the offence charged.
He added that section109 of the ACJA “is the provision about the procedure of instituting criminal proceedings before this court and we have complied with that.”
On the argument that only the AGF could initiate the charges, Idachaba said the Supreme Court had since ruled that the police could prosecute without recourse to the AGF.
He added that the prosecution had complied with section 36 of the Constitution by filing along with the charges and serving same on the defendants, the proof of evidence containing all the materials as prescribed by the law.
He also said if they insisted on getting the original copies of the materials they had sought to subject them to “forensic analysis” as they had sought, they had to wait till when the materials would be tendered and admitted as exhibits before the court.
He said, “In sum, your lordship, the entire motion and the relief sought by the defendants are totally lacking in merit.
“We urge your lordship to dismiss same.”
In a short ruling, Justice Halilu said the objection was one that could wait for determination at the end of the trial as stipulated in section 396 of ACJA.
He ordered the prosecution to immediately call their first witness on Monday.
However, Idachaba said, although his two other witnesses were seated in court, the witness whom he intended to call first was earlier in court but could not be found at that moment.
In response the judge warned the prosecution to always bring all their witnesses to court and the witneses must not leave the courtroom before adjournment.
He said the court would hear the case two times every week. He then adjourned till April 19 and 20.
In the amended two counts preferred against the four of them, Maryam was 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, “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.”
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.
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”.
Nnamdi Kanu Declares Sit-At-Home On Presidential Election Day
Kanu while addressing members of his group in a live radio broadcast which was monitored by Daily Gist.co on Saturday vows to ensure the total compliance of the order to sit at home.
Kanu threatened that there would be no elections in the southeast unless there was a referendum to determine if the Igbo would have Biafra.
Daily Gist.co understands that Kanu narrowly escaped to Israel after Nigerian Army during their Operation Python Dance in the Southeast in 2017 raided his home in a gestapo style of operation killing no fewer than 20 persons.
He is leading a separatist group for the independence of the region from the Nigerian state.
Atiku Warns Buhari Over Move To Remove CJN Onnoghen
The Peoples Democratic Party’s Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has warned President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress to avoid throwing Nigeria into an avoidable crisis over their desperation to sack the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Atiku in a statement issued in Abuja on Saturday through his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, said the principle of separation of powers remains sacrosanct in a democracy irrespective of what President Buhari is being told by his advisers or the buttons they are pressing to forcefully remove the CJN.
Atiku noted that the plot to sack Justice Onnoghen was a preemptive move against the bench in the face of imminent defeat and knowing the role that the judiciary plays in the final outcome of elections.
He said, “We have just been made aware of the plot by President Muhammadu Buhari the All Progressives Congress (APC) to sack Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen using flimsy assets declaration issues as a pretext.
“We are aware that there are plans to arraign Justice Onnoghen before the Justice Danladi Yakubu Umar led-Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday, January 14, 2019.
“The charge against Onnoghen, we understand has already been filed and served on him last Friday at his official residence in Abuja preparatory to his appearance at the Tribunal.
”But we warn that despite the clandestine meetings in the highest echelon of the APC and also involving some top officials of the federal government which include the Code of Conduct Tribunal, neither Buhari nor the APC can re-write the Nigerian Constitution just because of its impending defeat at the February 16, presidential election.
“Heavens did not fall when PDP lost to the APC in 2015. And heavens will not fall now that the APC is sure to lose to the PDP, seeing that the APC’s plan to rig in the forthcoming elections will not pull through.”
Atiku said that their plan is to enable acting Chief Justice of Nigeria to sit on his election petition because he has seen the signal that he will lose the February 16 presidential election.
How Buhari, APC Plan To Rig 2019 Elections – Atiku
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has alleged that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is strategizing to steal ballot boxes during the 2019 elections.
Atiku said this at the Polo field in Jos, the Plateau State capital, during the party’s presidential campaign rally this weekend.
“My brothers and sisters of Plateau State, I want to promise you, if you vote for PDP, we are going to restore peace and unity in the state,” Atiku added.
“We will sit down with leaders of all the communities, religious groups in the state, and make sure that we restore peace and unity in the state.
“So that the state will continue to be known as the economic hub of the middle belt.
“Secondly, the PDP government will ensure the provision of jobs and business entrepreneurship for those who cannot work.”
He added, “I want to appeal to you to vote for PDP, and remain at your polling units after voting so that they do not still your votes; because the APC is not campaigning, they are not communicating with you, all they want to do is to steal the election and we will not allow them to do that.
“Let me appeal to you, don’t allow yourself to be deceived, vote PDP from top to bottom, vote PDP all the way.”
How Buhari Has Again Shown He Is Cloned, Zombie – Nwosu
National Chairman of the African Democratic Congress, ADC, Chief Ralphs Okey Nwosu, has said that by handing his campaign over to National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, President Muhammadu Buhari has again shown that he was cloned.
Nwosu was quoted by the Guardian as saying that the President’s action was scandalous, noting that, “There are three ways one can explain this: It is the character of the man to shirk responsibility or we have a zombie in the Villa, whom the cabals are in complete control of, or this whole clone or body-double thing is not a mirage. Certainly, something is wrong.”
Nwosu, who also claimed that Buhari was never available for those who elected him, noted that the nation has been governed by proxies for the last few years.
He continued, “First the rumours of body-doubles and cloned Villa occupants, and now they are no longer disguising or pretentious about it. It has been made clear that Tinubu doubles for Buhari when campaigning to capture power.
“The nation has been governed by proxies for the last few years and APC has allowed it. So, it is left to the Nigerian voters and people to decide during the elections.
“Buhari is never available to the people who elected him. This is why leaders of other nations treat us with contempt. Political leaders and investors all over the world mock us all the time.
“How low could governance get? All indicators score Buhari’s government as the lowest since the Nigerian nation was founded.”
Igbo presidency is not in Nigeria agenda don’t be deceive Tanko Yakasai revealed
The assertion of Igbo man been the President of Nigeria is night dream that might occurs probably but it will take years before actualize, the second Republic politician alhaji Tanko Yakasai raised alarm.
He stated this while addressing news media and expressed serious fear on what might be the fate of south east if eventually they are shut out of the Presidency for next 28 years should President Mohammadu Buhari wins his re-election scheduled to take place next month.
He further revealed that this year election will not be an easy type as many Nigerians might think because we have 2 major party just like it was in the 1964 contesting for Presidential election which will definitely trigger war if mismanaged and also warned that a divide of the incoming general election will stir another war in Nigeria sighting how the previous war Nigeria experienced started.
APC and PDP are the two major force in the incoming election, APC have there allies in the South West in support of president Mohammadu Buhari and the other block is the PDP led by Atiku abubarkar and Peter Obi, I see this as something serious that will bring divide with far reaching implications.
If President Buhari succeed in winning his re election, he will rule additional four years and after Buhari, leadership will definitely go back to west which will amount to 8 years added to 4 years under Buhari leadership, it would amount to 12 years.
After the man from south west, there are zero tendency that somebody under APC will be nominated to contest election from the entire South, therefore the candidate will now come from the north after south west leadership.
The idea is that once APC candidate from the north has completed his two terms, presidency will go automatically to the south east or Igbos and south west Yorubas (merged contest) and in that scenario, southeast are not making it to even second on result because it’s a planned deal.
But if PDP with Atiku Abubarkar as presidential candidate wins with his running mate from south east in the person of Peter Obi, they will run the government for maximum 8 years(that is two successful terms) in office. After that, shift automatically go to south east and the possibility is that his running mate Obi who is from south east would become the candidate for the position.
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