Paschal Emeka, Abuja
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has criticized in its entirety the recent judgment of Justice Yusuf Halilu of the Abuja High Court which sentenced Maryam Sanda to death for culpable homicide following the death of her husband Bilyaminu Bello.
Addressing a joint press conference in Abuja, Emmanuel Onwubiko the National Coordinator Human Rights Writers Association described the judgment as an abuse of court process and miscarriage of justice.
According to him, “it is curious why a judge would trifle with an offence of culpable homicide, which attracts death by choosing to draw conclusions of guilt of Maryam based on hearsay.
“We must point out that no witness testified to seeing Maryam stabbing her husband, no murder weapon was tendered by the police in evidence, no confessional statement was made by Maryam or anyone else for that matter and no two of the six police witnesses corroborated each other’s testimonies to the effect that Maryam killed Bilyaminu.
“So, what evidence did Justice Halilu rely on to convict Maryam apart from circumstantial evidence? This is not the position of the law. The law is that no person shall be convicted for the offence of murder, which attracts capital punishment based on the circumstantial evidence.
While declaring that Maryam to file an appeal, he noted that the Justice Halilu clearly misdirected himself and assumed the position of an IPO whereas the only job he was paid to do was to look at the various evidence before him and evaluate them to make decision.