Husband Killer: Appeal court affirms Maryam Sanda’s death sentence

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday affirmed the death penalty imposed on Maryam Sanda, who was sentenced to death for the murder of her husband, Bilyaminu Bello, in November 2017.

Justice Yusuf Halilu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Maitama, Abuja, had in his judgment delivered on January 27, 2017, held that circumstantial evidence proved that Maryam “fatally” stabbed her husband to death in Abuja on November 19, 2017.

“She should reap what she has sown, for it has been said that ‘thou shall not kill’ and whoever kills in cold blood deserves death as his own reward,” Halilu said.

Maryam Sanda and her late husband, Bilyaminu Bello


“Convict also clearly deserves to die, accordingly I hereby sentence Maryam Sanda to death by hanging until she dies.”

Aggrieved by the death sentence, Sanda approached the appellate court seeking to upturn the trial court’s judgment.

In a notice of appeal predicated on 20 grounds, the appellant through her legal team described the judgment of the trial court as “a miscarriage of justice”.

She submitted that the judge relied on circumstantial evidence as there was “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.”

She also submitted 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…”

But on Friday, the appellate court upheld the death sentence.

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