Today, the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, upheld the judgement of a Lagos High Court which sentenced Fiberesima to five years imprisonment for the death of one Dr Giwa Suraj, in an auto accident along the Lekki-Epe expressway, Lagos in 2005.
In a unanimous decision delivered by Justice Jamilu Yammama Tukur, the court also dismissed the sentence of a Magistrate Court which had earlier awarded a N100, 000 fine on the actress. The Appeal Court held that the Magistrate lacked the discretion to grant Ibinabo the option of a fine upon conviction.
Immediately, the judgment was delivered, Fiberesima, who was visibly apprehensive throughout the proceeding burst into tears and wept furiously. Her lawyer, Nnaemeka Amaechina, said that the judgment would be challenged at the Supreme Court.
Fiberesima had earlier been awarded a N100, 000 fine by an Igbosere Magistrate’s Court, but the then Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner of 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 Magistrate’s Court and sentenced Fiberesima to five years’ imprisonment for dangerous and reckless driving. In her judgment, Justice Oluwayemi held that the trial Magistrate exercised judicial recklessness when he gave the convict an option of fine.
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 7 years.
Odutola further submitted that the children of the deceased have been permanently deprived of the ‘’measureless contributions’’ of their father to their lives as a result of his death caused by Fiberesima.