Tuesday, April 20, 2021
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Maryam Sanda appeals death sentence, says Justice Halilu’s judgement ‘tainted by bias and prejudices’

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The killer housewife, Maryam Sanda, who was sentenced to death by hanging for killing her husband, Bilyaminu Bello, has appealed the Abuja High Court’s judgement.

Recall that Ms Maryam was accused of killing her husband on November 19, 2017 through multiple stabbing, and was arraigned at the court by the Nigeria Police with three other persons.

A few years after, Ms Sanda was sentenced to death by hanging on January 27, 2020 by the Federal Capital Territory High Court.

Dissatisfied by the judgement, Ms Sanda is now asking the court of appeal to set aside the verdict of the High Court, accusing the trial judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu, of being “tainted by bias and prejudices”.

According to a notice of appeal sighted by TheCable, Ms Sanda filed 20 grounds by her legal team comprising Rickey Tarfa; Olusegun Jolaawo; Regina Okotie-Eboh and Beatrice Tarfa, the applicant described the judgment of the trial court as “a miscarriage of justice”.

She said this led to the denial of her right to fair hearing and her consequent conviction based on circumstantial evidence, “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”.

“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 application read.

“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.”

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”.

Consequently, she asked the appellate court to acquit her.

No date, however, has been fixed for hearing in the matter.

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