The Court of Appeal, Lagos division, yesterday affirmed the five years imprisonment handed down to Nollywood actress, Ibinabo Fiberesima by a Lagos High Court for the death of one Dr. Giwa Suraj.
The appellate court dismissed the appeal filed by Fiberesima challenging the judgement of the lower court for lack of merit.
Justice Deborah Oluwayemi in 2007 sentenced Fiberesima to five years imprisonment for reckless driving which caused the death of Dr. Suraj in an auto accident along the Lekki-Epe expressway, Lagos.
Earlier in 2006, a Lagos Magistrate’s Court sitting in Igbosere had fined Fiberesima N100, 000 for the offence.
Dissatisfied, the former beauty queen 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.
However, in a unanimous judgement delivered on Friday by Justice Jamilu Yammama Tukur the appellate court held that the trial Magistrate Court lacked the discretion to grant Ibinabo option of fine having been convicted.
The Court further held that the appeal lacks 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 judgment was delivered, Ibinabo who was visibly apprehensive throughout the proceeding burst into tears and wept profusely.
The court had earlier ordered that the appellant, Fiberesima, appear before it when judgement was to be delivered.
Fiberesima had earlier been awarded a N100,000 fine by an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court, however, dissatisfied with the development the then Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner of justice, Supo Sasore (SAN), appealed the verdict, claiming that the punishment was not in line with the law.
After listening to argument on the matter, Justice Oluwayemi set aside the option of fine imposed by the Magistrate’s Court and sentenced Fiberesima to five years imprisonment for dangerous and reckless driving.