After the conviction of the Superior Court of FCT for the alleged death of her husband, Bilyaminu Bello, Maryam Sanda contacted the Court of Appeal of the Abuja Division, asking the court to annul the verdict and acquit her.
Sanda, who was sentenced to death by hanging by Judge Yusuf Halilu on January 27, said the judge “was contaminated by prejudice”.
According to her, this led to the denial of the right to a fair hearing and the consequent conviction based on circumstantial evidence, despite the reasonable doubt created by the evidence of the witnesses, lack of confessional declaration, absence of a murder weapon, lack of evidence. by two or more witnesses and a lack of autopsy to determine the true cause of her husband’s death.
In an appeal notice based on 20 reasons and filed by its legal team composed of Rickey Tarfa, SAN, Olusegun Jolaawo, SAN, Regina Okotie-Eboh and Beatrice Tarfa, the appellant said the court’s sentence was completely “a miscarriage of justice”
She pointed to the judge’s failure to judge, in one way or another, her preliminary objection, contesting the preferred charge against her and the court’s jurisdiction as evidence of bias and denial of her right to a fair hearing as constitutionally guaranteed.
In her request, she said: “The honorable judge of the case made an error of law in arguing about the appellant’s preliminary objection to the validity of the charge on March 19, 2018, which did not comment on it at the conclusion of the trial or in any other instance.
“The judge in the case displayed prejudice against the defendant for not speaking in one way or another about the motion that challenges his jurisdiction to accept the charge and therefore fundamentally violated the defendant’s right to a fair hearing.”
In the second plea, the appellant alleged that the judge in the case erred and deviated from usurping the role of the police when he assumed the duty of an investigating police officer (IPO), as contained on page 76 of his trial.
It was argued that “the circumstantial evidence on which the trial court based its application of the last seen doctrine does not lead to the conclusion that the accused is responsible for the death of the deceased”.
Consequently, Maryam Sanda prayed to the Court of Appeal to allow her appeal, overturned her conviction and sentence imposed by Justice Halilu and acquitted her.
There has not been a set date for the hearing on the matter.