Maryam Sanda rejects death sentence, set to appeal

By Bukola Olasanmi

A condemned Maryam Sanda sentenced to death by hanging for killing her husband at the weekend said that plans were afoot to approach the Court of Appeal to nullify the judgment.

A member of Sanda’s legal team who preferred anonymity made the disclosure.

Justice Yusuf Halilu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had given her the maximum sentence for killing her husband, Mr. Bilyaminu Bello.

However, some women and civil rights activists have condemned the death penalty, describing it as unacceptable.

But another activist and co-convener of #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) movement, Mrs. Aisha Yesufu, welcomed the death penalty, saying that it was not only an adequate punishment but also that justice had been served in the case.

The federal government had arraigned her on a two-count charge bordering on murder.

In the judgment delivered, the trial judge held that there was circumstantial evidence coupled with the defendant’s statement to the police that she “fatally” stabbed her husband to death in Abuja on November 19, 2017.

The judge while stating that the offence for which the defendant was convicted was based on Section 221 of the Penal Code imposed the maximum sentence.

“It has been said that thou shall not kill. Whoever kills in cold blood shall die in cold blood,” the judge said, adding: “Maryam Sanda should reap what she has sown. It is blood for blood.”

However, reacting to the judgment, one of the lawyers, who spoke off the record, said they would go on appeal against the judgment.

“She has a constitutional right of appeal and definitely she has to exercise it,” he said, adding: “We will definitely appeal the judgment.”

Sanda killed her husband on November 19, 2017, through multiple stabbing.

She was arraigned alongside three other persons, including her mother and brother.

However, the others were discharged because the prosecution was unable to link them to the charges.

The late Bello is a son of a former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Haliru Bello

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