Alex Enumah in Abuja
The absence of a prosecution witness on Monday stalled the trial of Maryam Sanda and three others over their alleged complicity in the death of Bilyaminu, son of a former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Mr. Haliru Bello.
Mariam, her mother, Maimuna Aliyu; brother, Aliyu Sanda, and housemaid Sadiya Aminu, are standing trial on alleged murder and conspiracy charges before Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Abuja High Court, Jabi.
Mariam was accused of carrying out the alleged murder of Bilyaminu, her late husband, on November 19, 2017.
At the resumed trial yesterday, prosecution counsel, Mr James Idachaba, told the court that the witness he intended to present could no longer be sighted in the court.
Consequently, the judge adjourned till April 19 and 20, for continuation of trial and to also enable the prosecution prepare more on its witnesses.
Earlier, Idachaba had told the court that the prosecution came to the court with two witnesses and that the whereabouts of the actual one he intended to start the trial with could no longer be ascertained as at the time he was called.
Idachaba urged the court to disregard and dismiss the application by the defence counsel, Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN), urging the court to dismiss the murder charge against the defendants.
He said: “We are in total opposition of the application to dismiss the charge against the defendants, we have filed a 22-paragraph affidavit, the application by the defence counsel to dismiss the charge against the defendants should be dismantled.
“The submission that the charge against the defendants is incompetent is totally misconceived; the defence counsel had done so many things since the beginning of the case to displease that position of his prayer.
“Plea had already been taken, we urged the court to dismiss that relief and refuse the grant of the prayers,’’ Idachaba said.
He also told the court that the prosecution would tender every necessary document and materials that would aid the prosecution of the matter, adding that if the defence has a contrary material; it should also be tender before the court.
Defence counsel, Daudu, however, prayed the court to quash the charge against the defendant adding, that the prosecution did not follow the right process before filling the charge.
According to Daudu, the matter should have been transmitted to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) immediately the police finished their investigation.
He said the police do not have the power to prosecute such murder case and that the power was only vested with the AGF.
The senior advocate disclosed that there is an application in reference to that, and urged the court to dismiss the entire charge against the defendants.
He cited sections 359(1)(2) and 376 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) and urged the court to dismiss the charge against the defendant.