Maryam Sanda’s Death Sentence: A Snappy Shot by Abdulrahman Njidda Esq

Contempt of court



Death, the tumultuous between two worlds – one here, the other after life. When death comes at the direction of your life, it brings plenitude. More often than not it crosses and unsettles you before hunting you down. Under the merciless whip of death, the family of Maryam Sanda’s late husband had to endure when their son was brutally murdered by his wife. It is the same fate that is about to befall the family of Maryam.

The judgment that led to the passing of death sentence on Maryam made me recollect how the situation is under Islamic Law (Sharia).

Under the sharia, the family of the deceased has the competence to pardon the killer of their kinsman and opt for compensation (Diyya). The Diyya itself is not solely shouldered by the killer alone but the whole family members of the killer who must all contribute to bail out their kinsman (convict).

Unfortunately, under our conventional legal system, it is only the Governor, or the President that has the prerogative to pardon such capital offences as the case may be. At the end of the day, lslamic Law is not as draconian and harsh as its opponents may seek to portray it.

I have monitored the interview of the family of Maryam’s late husband yesterday which was full of pity but given our rigid legal system, there is nothing they can do about it because all capital offences in Nigeria are offences against the State and not individual. Conversely, under the Islamic Legal System, Maryam’s offense is an offense against Allah and the family of the deceased.

Under the Islamic law, once an offense is declared to be against Allah and individual or family as in Maryam’s case, a pardon by the said individual or family automatically activates Allah’s pardon if the offender seeks Allah’s pardon thereafter by being remorseful.

Be it as it may, Maryam’s fate is now at the mercy of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to approve or not to approve her sentence – dead by hanging. Justice is served and there is nothing any one can do about it!

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