The trial of Maryam Sanda, accused of murdering her husband Bilyamin Bello, has suffered another setback as three senior lawyers in the defense team have withdrawn their representations.
Maryam, who was accused by the police of causing the death of Bello, son of former Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bello Halliru Muhammad was docked alongside her mother, Maimuna Aliyu, her brother, Aliyu Sanda and one Sadiya, who were accused of assisting her to conceal the evidence by cleaning the blood of the deceased from the scene of the crime.
Before the string of withdrawals, Joseph B. Daudu (SAN); Rotimi Ogunesan (SAN); A. T. Kehinde (SAN) had been representing Maryam, Aliyu and Maimuna in the trial while Olusegun O. Jolaawo from the chambers of Messrs Ricky Tarfa & co represents Sadiya.
But in a notice of withdrawal of counsel filed before the court said to be in “pursuant to Section 492(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015”, Maryam’s counsel asked the court to “Take notice that Mr. J.B. Daudu SAN hereby withdraws appearance as counsel to Maryam Sanda charged as 1st defendant in this case.” The notice was dated September 18 and signed by Daudu, Daily Trust writes.
In a similar notice, signed by counsel to the second defendant, Rotimi Ogunesan (SAN) dated September 20, the court was informed of the counsel’s withdrawal from the trial.
While no reasons were adduced in the notices for the withdrawal, there are speculations however on issues surrounding legal fees not being paid promptly.
Following the latest development, the trial scheduled to resume on Thursday may not proceed as planned as the remaining legal team for the defendants (from the Chambers of Ricky Tarfa & co) has written to the Registrar of the trial court to apply for “a vacation of the scheduled date of 4th October, 2018 and for an adjournment.”
The court was asked to consider November 7, 8, 13 or 14 as new dates for the continuation of trial.