Maryam Sanda challenges death sentence at Appeal Court

Maryam Sanda, the mother of two who was sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of her husband, Bilyaminu Bello, has approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja challenging the ruling.

On January 27, 2019, Justice Yusuf Halilu of the FCT High Court found Sanda guilty of killing her husband.

In the 20 grounds of appeal, she accused the trial Judge insisting that he relied on circumstantial evidence to sentence her to death.

“The honourable trial judge erred in law when having taken arguments on the appellant’s preliminary objection to the validity of the charge on the 19th of March, 2018 failed to rule on it at the conclusion of trial or at any other time.

“The trial judge exhibited bias against the defendant in not ruling one way or the other on the said motion challenging his jurisdiction to entertain the charge and therefore fundamentally breached the right to fair hearing of the defendant,” it reads in part.

In-ground II, the appellant contended that the trial judge erred and misdirected himself by usurping the role of the police when he assumed the duty of an Investigating Police Officer (IPO) as contained in Page 76 of his judgment.

It was submitted that “the circumstantial evidence which the trial court relied upon in its application of the last seen doctrine does not lead to the conclusion that the defendant is responsible for the death of the deceased.”

Consequently, Sanda prayed the Court of Appeal to allow her appeal, set aside her conviction and sentence imposed by Justice Halilu and acquit her

No date has been fixed for hearing of the appeal yet.

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