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Bilyaminu Bello was sent to the great beyond by his wife, Maryam Sanda

"Convict also clearly deserves to die. Accordingly, I hereby sentence Maryam Sanda to death by hanging until she dies," the judge said as emotions flared in Court 24 of the Maitama High Court, Abuja.

The 3rd floor of the Maitama High Court was in a frenzy as the judge, Yusuf Halilu, delivered judgement on a case of murder involving one Maryam Sanda.

Maryam was accused of killing her husband, Bilyamin Mohammed Bello, over alleged infidelity in November 2017.

The accused was said to have stabbed her husband several times with a broken bottle "with the intent to kill".

But Maryam argued that her late husband tripped and fell over a broken ceramic Shisha pot during a heated argument over a nude photo of a female she saw while looking through his phone.

Standing trial for culpable homicide, Maryam often showed up in court with her face covered and a copy of the Qur'an.

Maryam Sanda in court today

During the two-hour judgement on Monday, January 27, 2020, the judge said Maryam "woefully failed" to explain the cause of death of her husband owing to the doctrine of last seen.

The doctrine of 'last seen'

Under the "doctrine of last seen", the law presumes that the person last seen with the deceased before his death was responsible for his death, and the accused is expected to provide an explanation of what happened.

The judge described Maryam's Shisha pot confession as inadequate to prove her husband's death.

"Was the shisha pot broken before or after his death? Why didn't PW 1 and PW 4 mention a broken pot?" the judge queried.

"The broken shisha pot and scattered living room is stage-managed and an affront [on the court]. I am convinced that it was after the death of Bilyaminu," he added.

At this point, Maryam, had began to wail in the courtroom as the judge continued. She also recited some verses of the Qur'an.

"She should reap what she has sown, for it has been said that 'thou shall not kill' and whoever kills in cold blood deserves death as his own reward," the judge said.

"Convict also clearly deserves to die. Accordingly, I hereby sentence Maryam Sanda to death by hanging until she dies," he declared.

She tried to escape

Emotions flared with relatives of the convicted mother-of-two crying their eyes out in the courtroom.

Maryam attempted to escape through the backdoor of the courtroom but for the prompt action of some personnel of the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCS).

Wearing a long black hijab, Maryam was dragged out of court into a waiting NCS amidst tight security.

Lawyers say Maryam still has the right to appeal this judgment.

The appellate court will either uphold this judgment or reduce the penalty for her action.

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