Legal Drama

Court Renders the Right Ruling: Ibinabo Fiberesima to Serve 5 Years in Jail


A few months ago I discussed the manslaughter case involving Ibinabo Fiberesima, current President of the Actor’s Guild of Nigeria (AGN). She killed an innocent man as a result of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), but was trying to minimize the consequences of that incident by arguing that she should only pay a fine. I don’t think the fine is even up to $500 dollars.

In relevant part I said,

“the state argues she shouldn’t remain scott free when a family has been denied their loved one as a result of her reckless actions that permanently deprived them of their loved one. They have a point. Fiberesima gets to be with her family, spend time with her children, be President of AGN and in recent times even remarried. Obviously not so for the victim.The value of a human life when recklessly taken should not, in my opinion, be reduced to just paying a 100,000 Naira fine. That is simply preposterous.”

The court has now made a ruling and has sentenced the AGN president to five years in jail. It is the right result, albeit tough for all involved.

See except of the story below:

“The Court of Appeal in Lagos on Friday, dismissed an appeal by Nollywood actress Ibinabo Fiberesima challenging a jail term slammed on her by a Lagos High Court. Ibinabo was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Justice Deborah Oluwayemi of a Lagos High Court for reckless driving which (resulted in) the death of a hospital staff. She was alleged to have driven her car recklessly on the Lekki-Epe Expressway and knocked down a man, Giwa Suraj. The deceased was said to be a staff of a Lagos state’s hospital. A Magistrate court (court of first instance) had earlier given the appellant an option of N100,000 fine for the offence. The judgment of the magistrate was,however, set aside by the high court which replaced the option of fine with a jail term.

Dissatisfied, Fiberesima had filed an appeal through her lawyer, Mr Nnaemeka Amaechina, urging the court to set aside the five-year sentence. Delivering judgment on Friday, the appellate court dismissed Fiberisima’s 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 Magistrate Court lacked the discretion to have granted Ibinabo an option of fine having been convicted.

Vanguard has the full story.

(NOTE: The story the Vanguard publishes says 5years jail term but I believe they probably meant to say prison, given the sentencing and nature of crime).


UPDATE: Fiberesima’s oldest son denies that the cause of death was the result of DUI, even though the killing took place eleven years ago and he was not there. Irrespective of the cause, what we do know is that a Nigerian court of law convicted her of manslaughter and it is a miscarriage of justice that till date, she walks scotfree.

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AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

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