A notice of appeal filed by Maryam Sanda, on Wednesday, stalled a bail application in her trial for allegedly killing her husband, Bilyaminu Bello.
Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN), counsel to Maryam, had filed notice of appeal against a ruling given by Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, which had earlier on Dec. 14, 2017, denied the defendant bail.
Maryam is accused of allegedly killing her husband, Bilyaminu, son of former PDP Chairman, Dr Haliru Bello on Nov. 19, 2017.
She was arraigned over culpable homicide and conspiracy alongside her mother, Maimuna Aliyu, the brother, Aliyu Sanda and one Sadiya Aminu.
While the three were granted bail on Dec. 14, 2017, Maryam Sanda was denied bail and remanded in prison custody.
Sanda’s counsel, Daudu, had on Jan. 25 filed another bail application which he moved on Feb. 5 but the court fixed Feb. 7 to rule on it.
Daudu in the bail application prayed the court to grant his client bail, saying she was three months pregnant.
However, Justice Yusuf Halilu at the resumed hearing on Wednesday declined to rule on the new bail application following a notice of appeal on his earlier ruling which denied the defendant bail.
Halilu at the commencement of proceeding observed that among documents before him was a motion of appeal by the defendant against his earlier ruling on her bail application.
He said “I want the defendant counsel to address me on such motion if it does not constitute abuse of court process.
“I have looked at the new application filed before me for bail: I have equally looked at the notice of appeal; the notice of appeal is praying the appeal court to set aside the ruling of the lower court.
“The new application before me is to grant the defendant bail, the prosecution counsel has made his point clear on the issue of the appeal filed before the higher court.”
According to him, there is no way the court can hear the new bail application except the defendant counsel does the proper thing by discontinuing the appeal at the appellate court.
Halilu, therefore, struck out the new motion for bail and adjourned the case for definite hearing until March 19.
Responding, Daudu informed the court that the appeal before the appellate court had already been abandoned because the applicant was no longer interested in pursuing it.
According to him, once an appeal is abandoned, it is assumed the appeal is lifeless and cannot bring any meaningful impact.
He said “if we are to pursue the appeal, we would have filed an application to bring it to life; we have not activated it; the appeal in question cannot be said to challenge anything at the moment.
“The appeal needs not to be part of the argument before the court. The court should forget the appeal, there is no factor constituting an abuse of court process here because the appeal has been deem abandoned.’’
The prosecution counsel, Mr James Idachaba, prayed the court to refuse the bail application, adding that if the court went ahead to rule on it, it would amount to abuse of court process.
He said there was need for the defence counsel to file a motion to discontinue the appeal before the court would do anything on the new bail application.
He added that “it will amount to abuse of court process if the court goes ahead to rule on the bail application without filing notice of withdrawal of the appeal before the higher court.
“There is no law that supports the present scenario, the applicant is in total abuse of court process; the defendant motion may not see the light of the day if the right thing is not done.’’
Meanwhile, the prosecution counsel said it was prepared to go on with hearing on the matter as it already had five witnesses in the court.