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Maryam Sanda loses appeal to upturn death sentence over murder of husband

Maryam Sanda convicted, to die by hanging for killing son of ex-PDP chairman Bello

An Appeal Court sitting in Abuja has dismissed an appeal filed by Maryam Sanda who was sentenced to death for the alleged murder of her husband.

She was tried and sentenced for stabbing her husband, Bilyaminu Bello, to death.

Maryam, the daughter of a former Executive Director of Aso Savings and Loans Plc, Maimuna Aliyu Sanda, was given the death sentence in January, 2019, after the FCT High Court found her guilty of the murder of Bello, a nephew of former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Bello Halliru Muhammad in 2017.

Not satisfied with the ruling, Maryam had approached the appellate court to challenge the decision of the High Court.

In the Notice of Appeal predicated on 20 grounds, Maryam had prayed the appellate court to set aside the verdict of the lower court and acquit her, claiming that the trial judge was tainted by bias and prejudices.

She also alleged that the presiding judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Yusuf Halilu, gave the verdict despite the reasonable doubt that was “created by evidence of witnesses, lack of confessional statement, absence of murder weapon, lack of corroboration of evidence by two or more witnesses, and lack of autopsy report to determine the true cause of her husband’s death.”

READ ALSO: Maryam Sanda convicted, to die by hanging for killing son of ex-PDP chairman Bello

She had also insisted that the judgment of the trial court was a complete miscarriage of justice on her, challenging the charges preferred against her and the jurisdiction of the court as evidence of bias and a denial of her right to fair hearing as constitutionally guaranteed.

She, therefore, asked the Court of Appeal to allow her prayers and set aside her conviction and sentence and subsequently acquit her.

However, in a two-hour judgment, the Appeal Court’s presiding judge, Justice Steven Adah, threw out Maryam’s appeal and held that the court is duty-bound to do justice according to law and not sentiments.

Justice Adah averred that the law does not leave room for irregularities, adding that parties must conduct criminal trials according to the law.

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