Judgment Day for Maryam Sanda, alleged husband killer

Maryam Sanda and late hubby

Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Abuja will today deliver judgment in the murder charge against Ms. Maryam Sanda, accused of stabbing her husband to death in November 2017.

The Nigerian police charged Ms Sanda with two-counts of culpable homicide same month, seeking the death penalty.

The victim, Bilyaminu Bello, was the son of a former national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Haliru Bello.

His killing was premeditated, the police said.

Court filings showed Ms Sanda stabbed her husband with broken bottles at about 3:50 a.m. on 18 November 2017, with “absolute intent to kill” him.

Multiple court testimonies and evidence including that of the accused indicated that the tragedy was triggered by a heated argument between Maryam and Bilyaminu.

During the argument, according to a witness, Maryam Sanda made several attempts to kill her husband, including threatening to chop off his sex organ if he declined to give her freedom from their marriage.

In her testimony before the court, Ms Sanda admitted that the two-year marriage that produced a baby girl was fraught with irreconcilable differences that reached a tragic climax on that November night.

She however denied killing her husband or nursing such intentions. The mother-of-one said trouble started after she discovered nude pictures of another woman in her late husband’s phone and confronted him.

Ms Sanda claimed she had asked for a divorce before arguments which continued late into the night snowballed into fisticuffs.

“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 narrated.

The accused claimed the deceased fell against the broken Shisha pot in an attempt to hold her down again.

“I saw a broken bottle pricked into his chest which I removed and covered the chest with a scarf.”

She said she rushed her husband to Maitama General Hospital where he was confirmed dead.

Sanda’s relatives allegedly assisted her in cleaning up the crime scene and no autopsy was carried out to ascertain the actual cause of Mr Bello’s death.

Regina Okotie-Eboh, lawyer to the accused argued that the prosecution failed to tender evidence to corroborate the allegations. She said the prosecution did not call nurses or doctors from the hospital where the deceased was taken to as witnesses.

Mrs Okotie-Eboh added that they failed to tender the knife with which the defendant allegedly used to perpetrate the act.

The prosecution however said it has proven the murder allegation levelled against the defendant beyond a reasonable doubt.