Maryam Sanda who was sentenced to death by hanging, has filed an appeal. Sanda who was found guilty of killing her husband, Bilyaminu Bello by a Federal High Court in Abuja, claimed she was not given fair hearing, and that she was convicted on circumstantial evidence by the trial judge who reportedly failed to rule on her preliminary objection.
She further claimed the judgement was “tainted by bias and prejudices,” and was ruled without evidence of witnesses, lack of confessional statement, absence of murder weapon, lack of corroboration of evidence by two or more witnesses and lack of autopsy report to determine the true cause of her husband’s death.
Part of her applications stated that: “The honourable trial judge erred in law when having taken arguments on the appellant’s 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 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.”
Her application to the appellate court also stated 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.”
“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,” she added in her application.
She prayed the appellate court to set aside her conviction and the sentence imposed by the high court Judge and acquit her of the charge.