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JUST IN: Appeal Court upholds husband killer’s death sentence

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The Court of Appeal Division in Abuja has upheld the death sentence handed down on Maryam Sanda over the death of her husband, Bilyamin Mohammed Bello.

The Federal Government had arraigned Sanda and three others on a two-count charge bordering on culpable homicide.

She was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging on January 27, 2020, by Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja.

“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.

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

Dissatisfied by the death sentence, Sanda approached the Court of Appeal 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…”

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


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