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Appeal court upholds Maryam Sandra’s death sentence

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, has affirmed the conviction and death sentence that was handed to Maryam Sanda, daughter inlaw to a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Mr. Mohammed Bello- Haliru.

The appellate court, in a unanimous judgment by a three-man panel of Justices led by Justice Stephen Adah, said it found no reason to set-aside the verdict of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, which sentenced Maryam to die by hanging.

It held that the 20 grounds of appeal Maryam filed to challenge her conviction and sentence lacked merit and deserved to be dismissed.

Maryam, who was found guilty of stabbing her husband, Bilyaminu Bello to death at their Abuja residence on the 27th of January, 2017, had in her appeal, maintained that she was denied fair hearing by the trial court.

She accused the trial Judge, Justice Yusuf Halilu of bias, insisting that he relied on circumstantial and hearsay evidence, to sentence her to death.

However, Justice Adah said it was not in doubt that the appellant killed her husband and held that the trial judge was right in his verdict, stressing that the offence of culpable homicide committed by the appellant, is punishable by death under section 221 of the Penal Code.

The court noted that there was evidence that the appellate murdered her husband during a fight that ensued after she saw a nude picture of a girl in his phone.

Reacting, Counsel to the appellant, Chief Joe Gadzama maintained that he would appeal the judgment at the Apex Court.

Counsel to the police, Mr. James Idachaba lauded the decision of the appellate court.

The court ordered that the convict should remain at the Correctional Center in Suleja till she exhausts her right of appeal.

Ifeoma Nwovu

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