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Court of Appeal Affirms Maryam Sanda’s Death Sentence As She Heads To Supreme Court To Overturn Judgement

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld the verdict of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sentencing Sanda to death by hanging for killing Bilyaminu Bello, son of the former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Haliru Bello.

In a two-hour judgement read by Justice Steven Adah, the court held that it was duty-bound to do justice according to law and not sentiments, stressing that the law does not leave room for irregularities and parties must conduct criminal trials according to the law.

It said the trial court was right in its verdict under Section 221 of the Penal Code, noting that the crime committed was punishable by death.

The appellate court held that it was not in doubt that Sanda killed her husband and it has no reason to set aside the judgment of the lower court.

It added that there was evidence that she murdered her husband during a fight after she saw a nude picture on his phone, and she had threatened him.

Late Bilyaminu, who was stabbed to death, was the son of former National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Haliru Bello.

While Sanda argued that she was denied a fair hearing by the trial court and insisted that she was innocent, the appellate court held that the appeal lacked merit.

The police through their counsel, James Idachaba, commended the appeal court judgement, saying they were ready to meet the other party at the apex court.

Meanwhile, Sanda’s counsel and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Joe Gadzama, said they would approach the Supreme Court to overturn the verdict.

Justice Yusuf Halilu of the FCT High Court in his judgement on January 27, 2020 convicted and sentenced Sanda to death by hanging.

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