© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
‘Killer-wife’ Maryam Sanda tried to stab husband with groundnut bottle, says witness
Ibrahim Muhammed, a prosecution witness in the ongoing murder trial of Maryam Sanda, has narrated how he prevented the accused person from stabbing her husband, Bilyamin Bello, nephew of Haliru Bello, former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), with a bottle of groundnut.
Sanda would eventually succeed in killing her husband later that same night after Muhammed had left, stabbing him in the neck, chest and genitals, according to preliminary police reports.
She is now being tried for murder, alongside Maimuna Aliyu, her mother; Aliyu Sanda, her brother; and Sadiya Aminu, her housemaid, who were charged with tampering with evidence.
Muhammed, who is the first witness to be called by James Idachaba, the prosecution counsel, said he was with the deceased Bello at his residence in Maitama, Abuja, on November 19, 2017, the night that he was murdered.
“We were together watching TV and taking Shisha in their sitting room up till 8 pm on the very day Bilyaminu died,” Muhammed told the court.
He said that as they were discussing in the sitting room, the deceased’s wife called him twice before he joined her upstairs.
“He went upstairs and didn’t return on time. I started hearing noise. Later on, Sadiya, came downstairs to tell me that Maryam will like to see me.
“I climbed up and I saw both of them holding each other’s clothes. Maryam told me she needed a divorce and that I should help her to tell the husband.”
According to Muhammed, Maryam refused to leave her husband, insisting that he must agree to the divorce.
“I used my hand to remove her hand from the husband’s clothes but the fight still continued,” Muhammed said.
He also said that there was a groundnut bottle in the room and that Maryam broke it and attempted to stab her husband but he prevented her.
The witness said Bello’s mobile phone got damaged during the scuffle and that he calmed him down, saying they would fix it or even get a new one the next day.
Eventually, as Muhammed was unable to settle the quarreling couple, he had to call in some of their relatives. It was one of them, Usmam Aliyu, who advised him to leave the house because it was not right to be too involved in a quarrel between husband and wife.
“Later on, one Abba-Bello, a brother to Bilyaminu, called me and told me that I should come to the Maitama Hospital that Bilyaminu had died,” Muhammed said.
“I went to the hospital to meet him lying down dead.”
Muhammed said he did not know the immediate causes of Bilyaminu’s death, as the deceased was still alive as of the time he left the house.
Having listened to the witness, the trial judge, Yusuf Halilu, adjourned the case to May 15 and 16 for continuation.