Ebun Francis || A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday turned down an application for bail by Maryam Sanda, standing trial for the murder of her husband, Biliyanu Bello.
The accused is standing trial alongside her mother, Maimuna Aliyu; her brother Aliyu Sanda; and her house help, Sadiya Aminu for conspiring to kill Biliyanu.
Joseph Daudu, the lawyer for Sanda had asked the court to grant his client bail on the grounds that she (Maryam) had submitted a medical certificate indicating that she requires health care that is not readily available in her place of detention.
Mr. Daudu cited section 161 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, to back his request.
Justice Yusuf Halilu in rejecting Daudu’s application said although the section cited relates to exceptional situation, the case presented in court did not prove to be so exceptional.
The judge also noted that although the issue of bail is at the discretion of the court, three factors are most important in deciding the bail of an applicant in court.
“Although Section 36 (5) of the Constitution presumes an accused person innocent. However, in circumstances such as this, the judge’s discretion shall be exercised judicially and judiciously.
“The nature of the charge, the evidence before the court and the punishment likely if the suspect is found guilty are the most important ingredients.
“I have gone through the arguments of counsel for the defence and that of the prosecution as well as section 161 (2) of the ACJA relied upon by Daudu with regards to exceptional cases.
“However there must be cogent evidence to show that the sickness the first defendant is suffering from is that which cannot be taken care of within the medical facility. It is not enough to include a medical certificate. Effort must be made to show that the defendant cannot be treated in the medical facility at the detention camp.
“I have seen from where I am which is close to the duck that the first defendant is strong enough. The first defendant who has been inside the duck for over an hour is very strong.
“On the whole, I am not favourably disposed to granting the first defendant bail. My discretion in her favour is hereby withheld,” Justice Halilu rule.