The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Monday, convicted and sentenced Maryam Sanda to death by hanging for the murder of her husband, Bilyaminu Bello.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Yusuf Halilu, held that there was circumstantial evidence coupled with her testimony and statement to the police that she “fatally” stabbed her husband to death in Abuja on November 19, 2017.
The judge ordered that she should be remanded in Suleja prison till she exhausts her right of appeal.
Her deceased husband has been variously reported as a son or nephew of a former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Haliru Bello.
Sanda, the mother of two, her mother and other relatives broke down in tears immediately the judge pronounced her guilt.
Her mother, who was occupying a back seat, sped out of the court as she wept.
Sanda while crying rushed out of the courtroom which was next to the dock but the judge ordered that she should be brought back to the courtroom.
In the middle of the confusion, the defence lawyer attempted to make a plea for allocutus (plea for mercy) but the judge said he needed to rise for the courtroom to be restored to normalcy.
The judge said he would return to deliver the sentence after some minutes.
When the judge returned from the break, he said there would be no room for allocutus.
He said the offence for which the convict was convicted was based on Section 221 of the Penal Code.
“It has been said that thou shall not kill. Whoever kills in cold blood shall die in cold blood,” the judge said.
“Maryam Sanda should reap what she has sown,” he said, adding, “it is blood for blood”.
According to the Maryam Sanda who narrated how her husband died, She told the court that on November 18, 2017, she used her late husband’s phone to make a call, adding that was when she discovered a nude picture of a lady on the phone, she went downstairs and called the deceased so that they could talk about it. In the course of discussion which degenerated into an argument, she asked the deceased to divorce her, adding that the late Bilyaminu held her neck, which got her choking.
The argument continued late into the evening and that around 11pm when she went to take her charger in the living room.
“He pushed me and as I was falling down, I mistakenly broke his Shisha bottle and the water inside spilled on the floor.
“He pinned me to the ground and I heard our daughter crying. I told him to leave me so that I could attend to her and he loosened up a bit and I struggled to my feet,” she said. She stated that while trying to hold her, the deceased fell down and that she saw her husband holding his chest and saw a broken bottle in his chest which she removed and covered the chest with her scarf.
She then rushed out to call for help and met one Ayuba with whom she took her husband to Abuja Clinic, where the late Bilyaminu was confirmed dead, adding that he was later taken to Maitama General Hospital where he was also confirmed dead. From the hospital, she said she was taken to Maitama police station where she wrote her statement.
She was docked alongside her brother, Aliyu Sanda; her mother, Maimuna Aliyu; and her housemaid, Sadiya Aminu, who were charged for assisting her to conceal the evidence by cleaning the blood of the deceased from the scene of the crime. They all pleaded not guilty. Police had subsequently called six witnesses to corroborate the charge.