Court sentences Maryam Sanda to death by hanging for husband’s murder

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An FCT High Court on Monday sentenced Maryam Sanda, the woman who stabbed her husband to death, Bilyaminu, son of a former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Haliru Bello, to death by hanging.

Delivering judgment, Justice Yusuf Halilu, convicted Sanda based on the `doctrine of last seen’, saying that the doctrine places a burden of proof on the accused who was the last person to be seen with the deceased.

Halilu held that from the evidence before him, it was irredeemably clear that the accused fatally stabbed the deceased adding that the two extrajudicial statements made by the convict were not disputed.

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 said.

The police arraigned Sanda for stabbing her husband with a broken bottle at about 3:50 a.m. on Nov. 18, 2017

The police also accused Maimuna Aliyu, 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.

However, Halilu discharged her co-defendants after they filed a no case-submission and ordered her to enter her defence.

The prosecution called six witnesses while the defence called two, the convict being one of the defence witnesses.

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