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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Updated: How Ibinabo Fiberesima Secured N2m Bail

Updated: How Ibinabo Fiberesima Secured N2m Bail

Embattled Nollywood Actress, Ibinabo Fiberesima

Nollywood Actress, Ibinabo Feberesima sentenced for killing a medical doctor has finally been granted bail by an Appeal Court sitting in Lagos.

Embattled Nollywood Actress, Ibinabo Fiberesima was granted a N2m bail by a Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on Thursday.

She was sentenced to five years imprisonment for manslaughter. The appellate court agreed with her lawyers that Fiberesima’s application for bail had merit.

Justice Samuel Oseji, who read the lead judgment, granted Fiberesima N2m bail with two sureties in like sum. The court said the two sureties must be resident in Lagos and must each swear to an affidavit of means. Justice Oseji said he was inclined to exercise discretion in Fiberesima’s favour in view of her health and because there was no record that she had jumped bail in the past.

The judge said it would amount to injustice if after Fiberesima had been kept in prison, pending the determination of a suit she filed at the Supreme Court. Justice Sidi Bage, who presided over the proceedings, aligned himself with the lead judgment but the third member of the panel, Justice Y.B. Nimpar, dissented. Justice Nimpar said the ill health grounds upon which Fiberesima anchored her application for bail was untenable.

The judge noted that there was no record before the court that Fiberesima had suffered any complication since February that she underwent surgery for breast cancer and April when she brought her application for bail.

Besides, Justice Nimpar said there were adequate medical facilities in the prison to cater to her health needs, adding that the prison hospital could also give her referral for consultancy in the event that she has any condition that could not be taken care by the prison hospital.

“The surgery was uneventful. The surgery was done in February, now we are here in April and there is no complication.

“The applicant is already convicted and presumption of innocence is no longer available.

“I personally will not exercise discretion in favour of the applicant,” Justice Nimpar held.

In support of Fiberesima’s bail application filed through her lawyer, Nnaemeka Amaechina, one Victor Eden had deposed to a six-paragraph affidavit stating that Fiberesima recently had a surgical operation for breast cancer. Eden said in the affidavit that Fiberesima was afraid that her life might be endangered if kept in the prison custody.

He had urged the court to grant her bail in the interest of justice.

It would be recalled that Fiberesima was in 2009 convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years imprisonment by Justice Deborah Oluwayemi of a Lagos State High court for killing one Dr. Giwa Suraj on the Lekki-Epe Expressway in an auto crash.

The judge had ruled that her reckless driving caused the victim's death. Justice Oluwayemi overruled the decision of a Lagos State Magistrates’ Court which earlier ordered her to pay N100,000 for the offence.

But, Fiberesima had gone to the Court of Appeal for the judgement to be upturned. She was dealt a big blow when the Appeal Court dismissed her appeal and upheld the five years imprisonment imposed on her.

Still not satisfied, she further appealed to the Supreme Court and urged the Court of Appeal to grant her bail pending the decision of the apex court.

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