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Ibinabo Fiberesima sentenced to five year jail term after dancing wild at AMVCA 2016 after party

 
The Lagos Division of the Court of
Appeal has upheld the judgement of a Lagos State High Court sentencing
an ex-beauty queen, Ibinabo Fiberesima, to five years imprisonment for
manslaughter.

The lower court presided over by Justice
Deborah Oluwayemi had convicted Fiberesima of manslaughter, ruling that
the actress’ reckless driving was responsible for the death of one Dr.
Giwa Suraj on the Lekki-Epe Expressway.
 
Justice Oluwayemi had set aside the
verdict of a Lagos State Magistrate’s Court in Igbosere which earlier
ordered Fiberesima to pay a fine of N100, 000 for the offence.
The high court judge ordered that the N100, 000 should be refunded to her while she should proceed on five years imprisonment.
 
However, Fiberesima, not pleased, headed for the Court of Appeal seeking to upturn the verdict.
But in a unanimous decision on Friday, a
three-man appellate court panel, in a lead judgement by Justice Jamilu
Tukur, dismissed Fiberesima’s notice of appeal adjudging it as lacking
in merit.
The panel, comprising Justices U.I.
Ndukwe-Anyanwu and Justice Tijani Abubakar, said the magistrate court,
which ordered Fiberesima to pay a N100, 000 fine after conviction,
misused its discretion.
The appellate court aligned with the
reasoning of Justice Oluwayemi, who described the magistrate’s verdict
as judicial recklessness.
It rejected argument by Fiberesima,
through her lawyer, Nnaemeka Amaechina, that the magistrate’s verdict
was in line and that the high court had no grounds to review it.
The appellate court agreed with Justice Oluwayemi that the N100, 000 imposed on Fiberesima did not serve the purpose of justice.
 
The court added that Section 28 of the
Road Traffic Law clearly provides that where a reckless and dangerous
driving has caused the death of a person, the accused person shall be
guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment of
seven years.
Upon being handed the Appeal Court
verdict on Friday, Fiberesima, who was present in court on the order of
the panel, burst into tears.
 
Her lawyer, Amaechina, however,
indicated that the appellate court verdict will be challenged at the
Supreme Court, adding that he had already filed a notice to that effect.
In his argument before the appellate
court, Amaechina had urged the court to uphold the magistrate’s court’s
decision in his client’s case, contending that by virtue of the Notice
of Increased in Jurisdiction of Magistrates, No. 7 of 2006, the trial
Magistrate could only have imposed a maximum of seven years imprisonment
or N100, 000 fine.
He stressed that N100, 000 fine is the
maximum limit the trial magistrate can impose as fine and that was what
it imposed on the appellant.
 
But counsel for the state, Mrs. Rotimi
Odutola, argued that the law creating the offence of dangerous driving
causing death had provided for a term of imprisonment as punishment for
anyone convicted under section 28, hence the magistrate ought not to
exercise such arbitrary discretion to impose N100, 000 as fine.
Odutola further submitted that the
children of the deceased had been permanently deprived of the
“measureless contributions” of their father to their lives as a result
of his death caused by the appellant.
She urged the court to uphold the judgement of the Lagos High Court and dismiss the appeal.
A Lagos High Court had in 2009 sentenced
Fiberesima to five years imprisonment for manslaughter, involving the
death of a medical doctor, Suraj Giwa, following an auto accident in
2006 along the Lekki-Epe Expressway.
Justice Deborah Oluwayemi had held that
the N100,000 fine initially imposed by a lower court on Fiberesima was
tantamount to judicial recklessness.
On Thursday, January, 28, 2016, an
appeal court in Lagos had reserved the ruling on the appeal filed by
Fiberesima for the sentence given by Oluwayemi.
She spent three months and three days in prison, but went on to appeal the case.
In a Facebook post in 2014, prompted by
someone who had labeled Fiberesima “an ex-convict”, she said she was
sorry for the incident.
She said, “I am very sorry, I could say
it a million times but words would not be enough, yet some individuals
with still bring such issues up to score cheap points and ignore the
fact that every time you bring up that issue, you force the family to
relive the pain afresh but they won’t mind as long as I suffer the same
pain.”
 

To think the actress went wild at the AMVCA after party last week (HERE).

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