An Abuja-based housewife, Maryam Sanda, sentenced to death for killing her husband, Bilyaminu Bello, has failed in her bid to quash the death penalty imposed on her by an FCT High Court.
In a decision handed down by justice Steven Adah, who led the three-man panel of justices, the court held that there were no enough reasonable grounds upon which the death sentence should be quashed as the lower court had overwhelming evidence against her.
Therefore her 20 grounds of appeal lacks merit.
Maryam was sentenced to death by hanging in January by Justice Yusuf Halilu of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
In the appeal against the death sentence, she averred that the conviction was based on circumstantial evidence despite the reasonable doubt created by evidence of witnesses, lack of confessional statement, absence of murder weapon, lack of corroboration of evidence by two witnesses, and lack of autopsy report to determine the true cause of her husband’s death.
She pointed to the failure of the trial judge to rule her preliminary objection challenging the charge preferred against her and the jurisdiction of the court as evidence of bias and a denial of her right to fair hearing as constitutionally guaranteed.
The appellant submitted that the trial judge erred in law when having taken arguments on her preliminary objection to the validity of the charge on the 19th of March, 2018 failed to rule on it at the conclusion of the trial or at any other time.
The appellant also contended that the trial judge erred and misdirected himself by usurping the role of the police when he assumed the duty of an Investigating Police Officer, IPO.