Manslaughter: Court Grants Ibinabo Fiberesima Bail

Ibinabo Fibersima - CourtThe Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has granted bail to a former beauty queen, Ibinabo Fiberesima, who was sentenced to five years imprisonment for manslaughter.

The two million Naira bail was granted on Thursday, pending the determination of her appeal against the manslaughter sentence at the Supreme Court.

The court’s verdict was split two-to-one in Ibinabo’s favour.

Reading the lead judgment, Justice Samuel Oseji held that there was nothing to show that the former beauty queen would jump bail.

The court also held that there was enough evidence before it showing that Ibinabo had health challenges, which made her application for bail found to have merit.

The bail was then granted in the sum of two million Naira with two sureties in like sum. The court also held that the two sureties must be resident in Lagos and must each swear to an affidavit of means.

Justice Oseji also held that it would amount to injustice if after Fiberesima had been kept in prison, the Supreme Court later, after about three to four years, decided that the five year jail term imposed on her should be set aside.

Presiding over the proceedings, Justice Sidi Bage aligned himself with the lead judgment but the third member of the panel, Justice Yagata Nimpar, dissented, as he insisted that the application for bail on grounds of ill health was untenable.

He noted that there was no record before the court to show that Ibinabo Fiberesima had suffered any complication since February, when she had surgery for breast cancer.

Justice Nimpar also said that there was adequate medical facilities in the prison to cater to her health challenges or in the alternative, the prison hospital could give her referral for consultancy in the event that she has any condition that could not be taken care of by the prison hospital.

In an affidavit of urgency filed before the court by 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’s surgical wound was yet to heal properly, as she was still under the watch of her doctors. He stressed that she was afraid that her life might be endangered if kept in the prison custody.

While he urged the court to grant her bail in the interest of justice, the Lagos State government did not oppose the application for bail but urged the court to use its discretion.

Ibinabo Fiberesima was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to five years imprisonment by Justice Deborah Oluwayemi of a Lagos State High Court in 2009.

The judge had held that her reckless driving was responsible for an auto crash, which claimed the life of one Dr. Giwa Suraj on the Lekki-Epe Expressway.

Court Upholds Ibinabo Fiberesima’s 5-Year Jail Term

Ibinabo FiberesimaThe Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, has upheld the judgement of a Lagos High Court which sentenced star actress and former beauty Queen, Ibinabo Fiberesima to five years’ imprisonment for the death of one Dr Giwa Suraj.

The court dismissed the appeal filed by the star actress challenging the sentence which was handed down by Justice Deborah Oluwayemi for reckless driving which caused the death of one Dr. Giwa Suraj in an auto accident along the Lekki-Epe expressway, Lagos.

The deceased was a staff in one of the Lagos state’s hospitals.

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, Ibinabo who was visibly apprehensive throughout the proceeding burst into tears and wept furiously.

The court had earlier ordered that she must appear before it when judgement is to be delivered.

Speaking on the judgement, her lawyer, Nnaemeka Amaechina, said that the judgment would be challenged at the Supreme Court adding that a Notice of Appeal had already been filed.

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 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 back to Ibinabo 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.

Dissatisfied, Fiberesima in her amended appellant brief filed by her lawyer, Nnaemeka Amaechina before the Court of Appeal urged the court to set aside the five-year sentence and restore the decision of the Magistrate Court.

Amaechina had argued that the Magistrate’s Court exercised its discretion properly and there was no ground to review it by the High Court.

He submitted that by virtue of the Notice of Increase in Jurisdiction of Magistrates, No. 7 of 2006, the trial Magistrate could only impose a maximum of seven years’ imprisonment or N100, 000.00 fine.

He added that N100, 000.00 fine is the maximum limit the trial Magistrate can impose as fine and that was what it imposed on the appellant.

In her response, counsel to Lagos State, Rotimi Odutola (Mrs.) argued that the law creating the offence of dangerous driving causing death has provided for a term of imprisonment as punishment for anyone convicted under section 28 hence the trial Magistrate ought not to exercise such arbitrary discretion to impose N100.000.00 as fine.

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 the appellant.

She urged the court to uphold the judgement of the Lagos High Court and dismiss the appeal.

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.

Producers Explain Why Nollywood Movie, ’76, Took 7 Years To Make

NollywoodProducers of the movie ’76, collaborated with the Nigerian Army on the flick which was inspired by the botched military coup of 1976.

The movie, which was shot for about 6 months at various locations stars top Nollywood actors, Ramsey Nouah, Rita Dominic, Ibinabo Fiberesima and several others.

Those who acted as soldiers, including Daniel K Daniel, got military training for a month, but the young actor insists the training was to make them real soldiers as they went through the same rigorous tasks as the other men of war at the barracks.

“We did that for a whole month just to become soldiers. Not to act like soldiers but to be soldiers… They told us once you cross that gate and you get into the barracks, you are no longer a civilian, you are no longer an actor. You are a soldier and we will treat you as such”.

But this is not the reason for the 7 year production. Director of the movie, Adonija Owiriwa explained.

“We took this long because we wanted get this right… we wanted to tell the story at the same level as Hollywood story.

“This is a made in Nigeria film for the rest of the world. It is our story. We have told the story and we are very sure that the rest of the world will appreciate the story because there’s a uniqueness when you tell your own story.”

 

Dangerous Driving: Appeal Court Reserves Judgement On Ibinabo Fiberesima

FiberesimaThe Court of Appeal Lagos Division, has reserved judgement in the appeal filed by star actress and former beauty queen, Ibinabo Fiberesima 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 Dr. Giwa Suraj in an auto accident along the Lekki-Epe expressway, Lagos.

The deceased was a staff of one of the Lagos state’s hospitals.

At the hearing of the appeal on Thursday, the appellate court presided over by Justice Ndukwe-Anyanwu (Mrs.) reserved judgement in the appeal after counsel adopted their written addresses.

The court also directed that the appellant (Fiberesima) who was not in court should be present when judgement is to be delivered, adding that the date of judgment would be communicated to the parties.

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 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 back to Ibinabo Fiberesima.

The court noted that the trial Magistrate must have misdirected himself based on the allocutus made by the counsel to the convict that she was a working mother.

Justice Oluwayemi held that Sections 28 of the Traffic Law on which the accused person was convicted does not give an option of fine stressing that when a term of imprisonment is mandatory the court cannot and should not give 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 seven years.

Dissatisfied with the judgment, Fiberesima in her amended appellant brief filed by her lawyer, Nnaemeka Amaechina approached the Court of Appeal and urged it to set aside the five year sentence and restore the decision of the Magistrate Court.

Adopting the brief, Amaechina argued that the Magistrate’s Court exercised its discretion properly and there was no ground to review it by the High Court.

He submitted that by virtue of the Notice of Increase in Jurisdiction of Magistrates, No. 7 of 2006, the trial Magistrate could only impose a maximum of 7 years imprisonment or N100, 000.00 fine.

He added that N100, 000.00 fine is the maximum limit the trial Magistrate can impose as fine and that was what it imposed on the appellant.

In her response, counsel to Lagos State, Rotimi Odutola (Mrs.) argued that the law creating the offence of dangerous driving causing death has provided for a term of imprisonment as punishment for anyone convicted under section 28 hence the trial Magistrate ought not to exercise such arbitrary discretion to impose N100.000.00 as fine.

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 the appellant.

She urged the court to uphold the judgement of the Lagos High Court and dismiss the appeal.

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.

In his judgment, Magistrate O.A Isaacs, found Fiberesima guilty on the two-count charge, sentenced her to seven years imprisonment on count one and two years imprisonment on count two or in the alternative, a fine of N100,000.

Besides, the trial Magistrate held that his pronouncement on the matter was in accordance with the provision of section 21 (a) of the Notice of Increase in Jurisdiction of Magistrates.

Jonathan Meets With Nigerian Entertainment Practitioners

jonathanIt was a big weekend for entertainers in the country as they got to meet with the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan.

Practitioners of different arms of entertainment including movies, music, comedy and fashion rolled out the drums to welcome President Jonathan to the Showbiz Interactive Session with Mr President which was held in Lagos, south-west Nigeria.

The evening, which was laced with performances from some of the biggest names in Nigerian entertainment, hit a crescendo when President Jonathan joined in to show his own reggae dance moves alongside Raggae legend, Ras Kimono.

After the various displays, they got to the most important agenda of a heart to heart talk with President Jonathan, where several members of the audience randomly took turns to ask the President questions.

Members of the industry asked the President how he intends to bring out the best from the sector.

Most of the speakers appreciated the President for showing support to the industry over the years but like Oliver Twist, they asked for more.

It appeared, however, that what troubles players in the Nigerian creative industry the most is the scourge of piracy, which the President promised to tackle as he seeks reelection.

After the interactive session, the President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Ibinabo Fiberesima, led out a team to pay tribute to the Nigerian troops bringing peace to the disturbed north-east region of Nigeria.

South Africa Beats Nollywood At AMAA 2014

Nigerian film stars joined their counterparts from other African countries at the 2014 edition of the Africa Movie Academy Awards, held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

Clarion Chukwura, who won the award for Best Actor in the female category for her role in “Apaye; A Mother’s Love” led other stars, Eniola Badmus, Rita Dominic, Patience Ozokwo, Segun Arinze, Richard Mofe Damijo, Ibinabo Fiberesima, and many others who graced the occasion.

At the end of the show, South Africa carted away 9 plaques while Nollywood clinched 6.

On this segment of EN, we featured the highlights of the event.

Also, Entertainment Correspondent, Abidemi Dairo sits with EN presenter, Mayowa Ogundele for a review of the event.

Also, EN featured scenes from the shoot of Kabarr’s new music video. Also, we featured highlights of God’s Children Got Talent, a talent hunt show sponsored by Redeemed Christian Church of God.

Actors Meet Jonathan, Call For Censors Board Sack

The Actors Guild of Nigeria has called for the sack of those at the helm of affairs of the Nigeria Film Corporation and National Film and Video Censors Board.

The call was made by the President of the guild, Ibinabo Fiberesima, when they paid a solidarity visit to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Fiberesima is the first female President of the guild since its inception 15 years ago with about 5 million members nationwide.

Fiberesima urged the President to review their appointments and employ those with passion for the job to instil purposeful leadership in the film industry.

She said that those who have been appointed to run those agencies have shown lack of capacity to put the industry on the path of growth, especially in this transformational period. She implored the President to review those appointments and appoint administrators with passion, zeal and total dedication to the development of the film Industry.

She also said that Nollywood was in dire need of a modern, responsive legal environment for it to continue to thrive and remain relevant to this administration’s transformation agenda.

In his response, President Jonathan promised to look at the requests put forward by the guild  for the donation of a piece  of land, stating that the land was guaranteed, but that he would meet with the FCT Minister to help them build a secretariat.

Noting that actors nationwide have touched the lives of Nigerians even to the grassroots, the President said that Nollywood was the tool that would be used to redefine Africa.

The Information Minister, Labaran Maku, promised that their request that needed executive assent would be presented to the Federal Executive Council next week.

The Culture and Tourism Minister, Edem Duke, also urged the guild to sustain the positive value of the country, as well as the unity of the country in every story they tell.

Genevieve, Amber Rose, Others To Judge Miss Earth Nigeria 2013

Nollywood Diva Genevieve Nnaji and Amber Rose will be part of the guest judges at this year’s Miss Earth Nigeria contest.

The director of the competition and president of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) Ibinabo Fibersima (ex-beauty queen) said the 2013 edition would be different because “we are currently in talks with top dignitaries who are passionate about the environment and the earth at large”

Ms Fibersima has organized the pageant for over a decade which has produced the likes of popular Nollywood actress Ufuoma Ejenobor.

Other guest judges revealed include, Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Karly Redd and Boris Kodjoe.

The winner of the 2013 Miss Earth Nigeria Pageant will represent Nigeria at the World Miss Earth Pageant slated to hold in the United States.

Amber Rose
Karlie Redd
Boris Kadjoe
Ibinabo Fibersima
Kelechi Amadi-Obi

Pete Edochie Is Not Dead

The President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria, Ibinabo Fiberesima, on Saturday debunked an online report claiming that veteran actor, Pete Edochie, had died after falling off a cliff in Austria.
In a facebook message reply to Channels Television’s enquiry, Ms Fiberesima said: “Actors Guild of Nigeria, AGN, can authoritatively confirm that Pete Edochie is alive, hale and healthy. Please disregard the rumour about his death.”

A website, Global Associated News, claimed that Mr Edochie died while filming a movie in Kitzbühel, Austria early Saturday.

“Preliminary reports from Austrian Police officials indicate that the actor fell more than 50 feet to his death in a remote area of the Hahnenkamm Mountains while on-set during the filming of a movie.

“Specific details are not yet available. The accident occurred at approximately 4:30 a.m. (UTC/GMT +12).

“Additional details and information will be forthcoming,” the report said.

The false report created a buzz on social media as commentators sought to find out the truth.