Following Maryam Sanda’s conviction by a Federal Capital Territory High Court over the murder of her husband, Bilyaminu Bello, she has approached the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division to set aside the verdict and acquit her.
Sanda, who is a daughter-inlaw to a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was sentenced to death by hanging by Justice Yusuf Halilu on January 27, said the trial judge “was tainted by bias and prejudices”.
In a notice of appeal predicated on 20 grounds and filed by her legal team comprised of Rickey Tarfa, SAN; Olusegun Jolaawo, SAN; Regina Okotie-Eboh and Beatrice Tarfa, the applicant said the judgement of the trial court was a complete “miscarriage of justice”.
In her application, Maryam said, “The honourable trial judge erred in law when having taken arguments on the appellant’s preliminary objection to the validity of the charge on March 19, 2018, failed to rule on it at the conclusion of the trial or at any other time.
“The trial judge exhibited bias against the defendant in not ruling one way or the other on the said motion challenging his jurisdiction to entertain the charge and therefore fundamentally breached the right to a fair hearing of the defendant.”
The appellant who is determined to live 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 as contained in Page 76 of his judgement.
It was submitted that “the circumstantial evidence which the trial court relied upon in its application of the last seen doctrine does not lead to the conclusion that the defendant is responsible for the death of the deceased.”
Consequently, Sanda prayed the Court of Appeal to allow her appeal, set aside her conviction and sentence imposed by Justice Halilu and acquit her.
Maryam Sanda who is the mother of two still denies the allegation that she killed her husband.
No date has been fixed for hearing in the matter.