Stella Dimoko Maryam Sanda Appeals Death Sentence And Accuses Judge Of Bias


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Friday, February 21, 2020

Maryam Sanda Appeals Death Sentence And Accuses Judge Of Bias

Maryam Sanda, the wife sentenced to death for killing her husband, Bilyaminu Bello, has asked the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division to void the judgment by an Abuja High Court.

In her appeal, the convict claimed that the trial judge was tainted by bias and prejudices leading to her denial of right to fair hearing and consequent conviction.

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.

In her 20 grounds appeal filed by her counsel Rickey Tarfa (SAN), Maryam Sanda pointed out the alleged failure of the judge to rule on her preliminary objection challenging the charge preferred against her and the jurisdiction of the court.

“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 trial or at any other time,” she said.

Sanda claimed he “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 fundamentally breached the right to fair hearing of the defendant.

In ground 2, the appellant 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).

In the said page, Justice Halilu had said “I wish to state that I have a duty thrust upon me to investigate and discover what will satisfy the interest and demands of justice.”

The appellant submitted that the wrongful assumption of the role of an IPO made “the trial judge fail to restrict himself to the evidence adduced before the court” and instead went fishing for evidence outside those that were brought before the court.

She stated that while “the duty of investigation is the constitutional preserve of the police, “the constitutional duty of a trial court is to assess the credible evidence before it and reach a decision based on its assessment.”

The convict argued that “the court’s usurpation of the duty of the police by taking it upon itself to investigate and discover, negatively coloured its assessment of the available evidence and resulted in it reaching an unjust decision contrary to the evidence before it.”

In ground 5, Sanda claimed that “the trial judge erred in law and misdirected himself on the facts when he applied the doctrine of last seen and held that the appellant was the person last seen with the deceased and thus bears the full responsibility for the death of the deceased, and thereby occasioned a miscarriage of justice.

“There is no evidence before the trial judge that the defendant was the last person who saw the deceased alive”.

She added that the statement of Sadiya Aminu, tendered before the trial court (who was initially charged as 4th defendant in the amended charge) also confirmed that the deceased was alive though injured when she saw him.

“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”, Sanda’s lawyer argued.
from dailypost


  1. Oyibo repete, if you had walked outta door, you would have fared better. Sad movies always make me cry

  2. So this woman get mouth to talk eh? After you ended someone's life, she is blabbing about bias. She is unrepentant!

  3. If she dies,who would become orphans?
    Would the guy have wanted her to die like him,would he have wanted the kids to have even if it's just a parent.
    I am not justifying anything here.
    I believe she has learnt her lesson,please they should consider their son's children.
    She should serve jail term than death please

    1. You're simply stupid
      So she couldn't think of her kids while killing their father?
      Pray that after suffering to train your son, a woman will not kill him
      Senseless comment

  4. Chai. Anger na bastard. She will sincerely be regretting her action that said day. abeg my people "Waka if e pain you"

  5. Walk out of an abusive or infidelity issues marriage. No one deserves you going to jail on their matter. Do not murder your spouse, walk away.

  6. kill her already, before she kills again!

  7. Nobody rushes to the gallows, so it's expected that every case where a death sentence is passed, will be appealed even till it gets to the supreme court, even when the grounds for appeal lack merit.

    Circumstantial evidence that is cogent, reliable, unequivocal and irresistibly points to the fact that the defendant and nobody else killed the victim, is enough for conviction in a murder case. While it is desirable that circumstantial evidence be corroborated, it is not a must. However the judge will warn himself of this fact before convicting based on circumstantial evidence. Criminal law 101. It's a basic legal principle that a year one law undergrad should know.

    Unlike in American criminal law, the murder weapon need not be tendered as an Exhibit for a murder charge to stick. Also, where the cause of death is painfully obvious, like a slit throat, a stab in the chest, a gunshot wound to the head etc, an autopsy report is not mandatory. An autopsy report is only mandatory where the cause of death is in issue, like a case of poisoning, an alleged underlying disease, a suspicious death or natural causes. This is also an established legal principle in Nigerian criminal law. A confessional statement is desirable but a defendant can be convicted of murder without it. The only issue here that has merit is the failure to rule on the preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the trial court, if that really happened. Once the issue of jurisdiction is raised, the court must determine that issue first, before proceeding with the case, if it rules that it has the jurisdiction.

    Similar grounds were raised in the Rev. King's case, that "pastor" who doused some of his congregants with petrol and set them ablaze as punishment for "immorality". One of them died later as a result of her injuries. His lawyers also raised appeal on the grounds that the murder weapon was not tendered and that the trial judge was biased, amongst other grounds. They even claimed that it was a generator explosion that killed the victim and that Rev. King wasn't even present at the scene, in spite of the overwhelming evidence that he was present and was the one who carried out the act. He, too, appealed till it got to the supreme court, but the supreme court dismissed his appeal and upheld the death sentence.

    Lawyers will come up with all sorts of reasons, from the sublime to the ridiculous, just for an appeal to buy more time. I can't say I blame them, it's only normal to postpone doom's day as long as possible.

  8. It's a shame.. she kills one person shes sentenced yo death, yet boko Haram kills uncountable they get rehabilitated. I saw a picture of their rehabilitation camp, very clean with food better than some civil servants homes. This country day....

  9. You killed a full human being who was also somebody's child. Somebody's father, brother, uncle, friend and partner, yet she's showing no remorse...
    Does she, her family and her lawyers think Nigerians are stupid??

  10. Thir one is hausa o. They escape judgement in Saudi. She'll escape this too in Naija. They know how they do it. Our fingers are crossed.


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