The Nigerian Correctional Service has denied reports that Maryam Sanda the woman convicted and sentenced to death by hanging for killing her husband, had been granted a Presidential pardon, and released from the Kuje maximum prison.
Reports have been rife on social media that Sanda who stabbed her husband, Bilyaminu Bello, to death during an argument in their Abuja home in November 2017, joined the list of 2600 prisoners who were recently granted presidential pardon by President Buhari, last week.
In a statement released today April 16th, the spokesman of the service, Augustine Njoku, denied the report.
“The Service wants to categorically state that the news is fake and very unrealistic and an attempt to rubbish the good intention of the President towards decongesting the custodial centre”the statement reads
Njoku said the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, clearly stated the categories of inmates qualified for the amnesty which include:
• Convicts who are Sixty (60) years and above
• Convicts serving 3 years and above with less than 6 months to serve
• Inmates with ill-health likely to terminate in death
• Inmates with mental ill-health
• Inmates with option of fine not exceeding N50,000 with no pending case
• Convicted pregnant women
• Convicted women with child
• Convicted inmates with minor offences
• Convicted inmates who spent 75% of their sentence after remission.”
”It obvious that Maryam Sanda does not meet any of the above mentioned requirements and therefore did not benefit from the Presidential Pardon/Clemency.
We further want to assure the public that Maryam Sanda is in our custody and will remain as such.
The Controller General of Corrections Ja’afaru Ahmed wishes to assure the public that the Service will ensure the safety and humane containment of the inmates in our custody and therefore advice the public to discountenance the rumor that Maryam Sanda benefited from the presidential pardon.” the statement read
Sanda was sentenced to death by hanging on January 27th 2020 by an FCT High Court for killing her husband. She has approached the Court of Appeal in Abuja, asking the court to set aside the verdict and acquit her.