A certain Maryam Sanda, who was charged for allegedly killing her husband, Bilyaminu Bello, told an FCT High Court on Tuesday, March 26, that she had no case to answer.
She was docked alongside her brother, Aliyu Sanda; her mother, Maimuna Aliyu; and her housemaid, Sadiya Aminu, who were charged for assisting her to conceal the evidence by cleaning the blood of the deceased from the scene of the crime. They all pleaded not guilty.
Platinum.ng gathered that the Police had subsequently called six witnesses to corroborate the charge.
In his statement, one of the prosecution witnesses told the police that the accused had a fight with her deceased husband over a nude picture of a lady she found on his phone.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, the witness, Inspector Josephine Onyendo, who testified as the sixth prosecution witness (PW6), told an FCT High Court in Maitama that upon being detailed to investigate the case, her team proceeded to the residence of the deceased.
“On getting to the house, we went inside where we saw a curtain on the ground at upstairs. There was a praying mat on the floor and there was water on the floor,” she said.
She said after returning to the office, Maryam was asked to make her statement and that according to the statement she had been married to Bilyaminu Bello since August 2015.
“She stated that on the 18th November 2017 there was a lady that sent nude pictures to her husband’s phone that later resulted to fight between both of them,” the witness said.
The witness further told the court that Maryam further stated in the statement that during the fight a Shisha pot got broken while they were fighting with the water inside spilling on the ground which made her husband fell down on the broken bottle and got injured.
She added that Maryam concluded that she took her husband to the general hospital at Maitama, where he was confirmed dead.
Onyendo told the court that by the time the case was transferred to the homicide section, the deceased had been buried according to Islamic rites.
She added that during the investigation, a friend to the late Bilyaminu, one Ibrahim that informed the police in his statement that it was Aliyu Sanda, Maimuna Aliyu and Sadiya (the house help) who cleaned the blood of the deceased from the floor.
Under cross-examination by counsel for Maryam, Olusegun Jolaawo, Onyendo told the court that she was not the first officer to visit the scene of the crime, adding that other officers had visited the scene before her team’s visit.
The 5th prosecution witness, Umar Muhammed, told the court that he saw two bite wounds and two stitches on the corpse of Bilyaminu Bello.
The 5th witness who said he works as a driver to Bilyaminu’s father, stated that he was informed around 5am on November 19, 2017 that Bilyaminu has died and that he immediately went to his boss’s house but found the house empty. He was told that they were at the Maitama police station.
He said when he got to the station, he proceeded alongside the family members to the Maitama General Hospital where the corpse of the deceased was retrieved from the hospital’s mortuary. He added that when the corpse was taken to the Central Mosque where he personally bathed the corpse according to Islamic rites, he saw some injuries on the body.
“I saw one (injury) on the lap and another on the neck. I also saw bite wounds on the chest and a finger on his right hand. I noticed that the wounds on the lap and neck were stitched,” he added.
Under cross-examination, Umar told the court that he was not aware that it’s only a relative or a professional that is allowed to do the bathing according to the Islamic rites. He added that he also didn’t know that the corpse must be covered from abdomen down to the feet before the bath.
He said he made his statement to the police on November 21, 2017 and that he didn’t include it in the statement that he was at Maitama police station and at the hospital.
“I saw Maryam and her mother at the police station but I don’t know who inflicted the injuries on the deceased,” he said.
Justice Yusuf Halilu adjourned the matter to December 3rd for the prosecution to call its last two witnesses.
Upon the disclosure by the prosecution counsel, Fidelis Ogbobe, that the prosecution had come to the end of its case against the defendant, Jolaawo informed the court that the defense was going to file a no-case submission.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, the accused’s counsel, Olusegun Jolaawo in his no-case submission told the court that the prosecution had not made a prima facie case against his client to warrant her to defend herself.
He said the evidence brought by the prosecution before the court were done away with by cross-examination.
He then urged the court to uphold the no case submission and discharge his client of the murder charge.
Also, counsel for the three other defendants, Hussein Musa, in his submission urged the court to discharge and acquit the defendants because the prosecution did not adduce enough evidence to warrant them to enter defence.
However, the prosecution counsel, Fidelis Ogbobe, while urging the court to dismiss the no-case submission, submitted that the prosecution had made out enough evidence to warrant the defendants to enter defence in the case.
He said there is enough evidence that linked the defendants to the crime, and as such, they have to make their defence to the charge.
The trial judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu thereafter fixed April 4 for ruling on the no-case submission.
No-case submission literally means an application by the defendant submitting that the prosecution had not led enough evidence to warrant for conviction or for the defendant(s) to defend herself.
If the application succeeds, the defendant(s) will be discharged and acquitted. However, if it fails, the defendant(s) will be ordered to open her defence.