Three Key issues in Maryam Sanda’s murder case

Maryam Sanda

An FCT High Court in Maitama is expected to deliver judgment today in the trial of Maryam Sanda, charged with the killing of her husband, Bilyaminu Bello.

Sanda is being tried for allegedly killing her husband, Bello, who was a nephew to former PDP Chairman, Alhaji Bello Halliru Muhammad, in 2017.

These are the three key issues the court will be trying to resolve:


Was the crime premeditated?

The Nigerian police charged her with culpable homicide in November 2017 and are seeking the death penalty in the two-count charge.

The killing was premeditated, the police said. Court filings showed Ms Sanda stabbed her husband at about 3:50 a.m. on the fateful day.

The police said she did so with “absolute intent to kill” him.

If the court ruled that the killing was premeditated, the death penalty may be handed down.


Sanda’s relatives connection

Sanda was docked alongside her brother, Aliyu Sanda; her mother, Maimuna Aliyu and her housemaid, Sadiya Aminu, who were charged with assisting her to conceal the evidence by cleaning the blood of the deceased from the scene of the crime.

It is alleged that because they tampered with evidence, 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 prove the allegations. She said the prosecution did not call nurses or doctors from the hospital where the deceased was taken to as witnesses.

Was Sanda defending herself?

Mr Mohammed, a friend of Bilayamin, in his testimony, said the accused made several effort to stab her husband in his presence after vowing to cut off his manhood if he refused to grant her divorce.

In her testimony before the court, Ms Sanda admitted that the two-year marriage that produced a baby girl was fraught with quarrels.

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

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

She claimed the deceased fell against a broken Shisha pot while trying to pin her down.

Regina Okotie-Eboh, lawyer to the accused said that the prosecution failed to tender the knife with which the defendant allegedly used to kill her husband.

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