Very sad story, conviction, and sentencing of Maryam Sanda to death by hanging on Monday

Maryam Sanda and her husband, Bilyaminu Bello

On Monday, Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Federal High Court in Abuja convicted and sentenced Maryam Sanda to death by hanging for killing her husband, Bilyaminu Bello.

Maryam had allegedly stabbed her husband following suspicion of infidelity. The gruesome incident happened at their residence at 4 Pakali Close, Wuse 2, Abuja, on 19th November, 2017.

The judge while delivering the ruling said that available evidence shows that she fatally stabbed the young man to death with the knife she had earlier threatened him with.

Maryam who was three months pregnant at the time of her husband’s was arraigned by the police alongside her mother, Maimuna Aliyu, and brother, Aliyu Sanda. She was accused of stabbing her husband to death and her mother and brother were accused of attempting to erase evidence of the murder by cleaning the blood from the scene of the crime with the intention of protecting her from legal punishment.

Justice Halilu discharged her mother and brother, but however ruled that Maryam who was delivered of her baby during her trial period which lasted over 2 years had a case to answer.

She alleged that her husband fell on a broken sisha bottle when fight started between them following her discovery a nude picture of a girl on his phone.

The judge however dismissed her claim, saying that the testimonies of the first and fourth prosecution witnesses (Ibrahim Mohammed, the deceased friend, and Usman Aliyu) who were both in the house before and after the incident.

Justice Halilu noted that evidences show that the sisha bottle was broken after the death of Bilyaminu Bello. He noted that the bottle was broken and scattered in the living room to serve as a smokescreen deliberately staged-managed to cover up Maryam’s action.

Mohammed, Bilyaminu’s friend, testified that he was with the couple before the incident and retrieved a knife from Maryam over 3 times that night when she threatened to cut off his (her husband’s) private part.

“From the totality of the evidence of the defendant, who was the last person to be seen with the deceased when he sustained the injuries that eventually led to his death, coupled with the surrounding circumstances that led to the death of the deceased, evidence of PW1, PW2, DW1 And DW2 (the accused) as reproduced in the body of this judgment, it is now very irresistibly clear that the defendant, fatally injured the deceased by stabbing him in the heart region, thigh, back, using the same knife which she had threatened to use on the deceased with the premeditated intention of killing him,” Justice Halilu ruled.

Read Justice Halilu’s ruling below;
“The concept of justice is tripled in nature, justice to the deceased, Bilyaminu, whose life was cut short in a brutal manner and whose innocent blood cries to high heavens for vengeance, justice to the perpetrators of the crime, who cannot be denied the benefit of the procedure ordained by God in the Garden of Eden that is fair hearing or fair trial, justice to society whose membership has been depleted by one.

“I am left in no doubt that the defendant has not just failed but woefully failed to explain the death of the deceased bearing in mind her discredited colourfully dressed evidence.

“I am more than convinced that the defendant fatally stabbed the deceased with the same knife she threatened him with which she has also mentioned in her statement to the police with the full knowledge was not just probable or certain.

“When I come to terms with the fact that the person involved here is the accused person’s lawfully married husband and who has a baby with him at the time of his gruesome murder.

“This is not just sad and unfortunate but indeed wicked. While I am in sympathy with the position of the accused person, a young mother, two children, whose father by her inhuman action sent him to an early grave, my sentiment will not go far to free the accused person from the long arm of the law. After all, it is indeed in law that sentiment has no place in judicial process, particularly when the sentiment is against the law.

“Clearly, with every available evidence before me, I have come to the irresistible conclusion that you, Maryam Sanda, are guilty of the murder of Bilyaminu, your husband, who you indeed killed in cold blood. You are hereby convicted for the murder of Bilyaminu as charged.

“In view of the fact that you were the only one last seen with him and now that your story of ‘sisha’ bottle has been discredited beyond doubt that same was broken after the death of Bilyaminu, I ask you both questions in view of the evidence of PW1, PW2, PW3, PW4 and exhibit A,B,C and G, which are all unanimous on the injuries inflicted on the deceased. And the fact that you threatened to cut the private parts of the deceased severally.”

“It has been said that thou, shall not kill. Whoever kills in cold blood shall die in cold blood.

“Maryam Sanda should reap what she has sown. It is blood for blood.

“She is hereby sentenced to death by hanging until she dies,” the judge said.

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