The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has dismissed Maryam Sanda’s appeal, upholding her death sentence by a lower court earlier this year.
Maryam Sanda who is a mother of one, was convicted for murdering her husband, Bilyaminu Bello, a cousin of former Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Haliru Bello.
A three-man panel of the court, in a judgment on Friday afternoon, dismissed Maryam Sandra’s appeal for lacking in merit.
She was earlier this year, by a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, convicted for murder and ordered to be hanged.
The police had accused Sanda of stabbing her husband with a broken bottle at about 3:50 a.m. on Nov. 18, 2017
The police also accused Maimuna Aliyu, Maryam Sanda’s mother; Aliyu, her brother, and Sadiya Aminu, her housemaid, of tampering with evidence by cleaning the blood and other proofs from the crime scene, but charges were later dropped.
The Nigerian police charged Ms Maryam Sanda for culpable homicide in November 2017 and sought the death penalty against the accused in a two-count charge.
The then Justice Yusuf Halilu in his judgment had said there was compelling evidence to convict the accused.
The judge dismissed Ms Maryam Sanda’s statement that her husband fell on a broken Shisha pot during a fight on an ill-fated day as a “smokescreen to deceive the court”.
He said available evidence proved that the accused stabbed her husband with a kitchen knife with intent to ” kill”.
The evidence of the convict was unreliable and circumstantial evidence is used in the place of eye witness account.
“I am convinced that the defendant stabbed the deceased and therefore guilty of charges against her.
“She is hereby convicted of the murder of her husband as charged,’’ he held.
Halilu in sentencing her held that from the entire circumstances of the case, justice to the society and to the deceased outweighs other elements of justice to the defendant.
“She should reap what she has sown, blood for blood.
“For it has been said that thou shall not kill and whoever kills in cold blood deserves death as his or her own reward or punishment.
“The mindless and senseless killing of men and women in our society must be seriously frowned upon.
“Accordingly, I hereby sentence Maryam Sanda to death by hanging.
“Sanda should be remanded in Suleja Correctional Centre until the convict exhausts her right of appeal in the court of appeal,’’ Halilu had said.
As the judge pronounced Ms Sanda guilty, the accused attempted to run out of the courtroom while her relatives started shouting, causing an uproar in an attempt to draw public sympathy and soft landing.
A short break was called by the judge to restore calm before the sentence was delivered.
The charges against Maimuna Aliyu, Ms Maryam Sanda’s mother; Aliyu Sanda, her brother, and Sadiya Aminu, her housemaid – for allegedly tampering with evidence by cleaning the blood and other proofs from the crime scene, were later dropped.
The trial has dragged on for almost three years due to delays, multiple adjournments and failure of witnesses to appear in court.