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Ibinabo Weeps, Loses Bid To Stop 5-year Jail Term Sentence.


Ex-beauty queen and Nollywood actress, Ibinabo Fiberesima on Friday lost  an appeal challenging the judgement of a Lagos High Court which sentenced her to five years imprisonment for the death of one Dr. Giwa Suraj.

The embattled actress was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Justice Deborah Oluwayemi for reckless driving which caused the death of one Dr. Giwa Suraj in an auto accident on the Lekki-Epe expressway, Lagos.
The deceased was a staffer of one of Lagos State hospitals.

Dissatisfied, Fiberesima in her amended appellant brief filed by her lawyer, Nnaemeka Amaechina, urged the court to set aside the five-year sentence and restore the decision of the magistrate court which gave her a N100.000 option of fine.
But,  delivering judgement on Friday at appeal court, the court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the Lagos High Court.

In a unanimous decision delivered by Justice Jamilu Yammama Tukur, the court held that the trial magistrates’ court lacked the discretion to grant Ibinabo option of fine having been convicted.
The court further held that the appeal lacked merit and thereby dismissed it accordingly.
Other members of the panel are Justice U.I. Ndukwe-Anyanwu (Mrs.) (presiding) and Justice Tijani Abubakar respectively.

Immediately, the judgement was delivered,   Ibinabo, who was visibly apprehensive throughout the proceeding, burst into tears and wept profusely.
The court had earlier ordered the appellant to appear before it when judgement was to be delivered.
Speaking on the judgement, her lawyer, Nnaemeka Amaechina said the judgement would be challenged at the Supreme Court, adding that a notice of appeal had been filed already.
Fiberesima had earlier been awarded a N100, 000 fine by an Igbosere magistrates’ court, but the then Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for  justice, Supo Sasore (SAN), felt unsatisfied with the judgement.

This prompted the state government to take its case to the Lagos high court.
At the Lagos high court, Justice Oluwayemi set aside the option of fine imposed by the magistrates’ court and sentenced Fiberesima to five years imprisonment for dangerous and reckless driving.
The court held that the option of N100, 000 given to the convict did not serve the purpose of justice in the matter and subsequently ordered that the N100, 000 should be returned to Fiberesima.
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.

The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command had in 2005 charged the ex-beauty queen [Fiberesima] to the magistrate court on a two-count charge of dangerous and reckless driving along Epe Expressway, Lagos which resulted to the death of Dr. Giwa Suraj.

Source;Nigerian Tribune

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