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Convicted actress Ibinabo refused bail at Appeal Court





Convicted ex-beauty queen Ibinabo Fiberesima, yesterday, failed to secure bail at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, the NATION reports.

A three-man, presided over by Justice U. Ndukwe-Anyanwu, said the appellant failed to attach copies of last Friday’s judgment, which affirmed the five years’ jail sentence imposed on her by a Lagos High Court.

Other judges on the panel are Justice Samuel Oseji and Justice Tijani Abubakar.

The Actors’ Guild of Nigeria (AGN) president told the court she was recuperating from breast surgery and that staying in prison would endanger her life.

When the matter came up yesterday at the Appeal Court, Ibinabo’s lawyer Nnaemeka Amaechina informed the court of his client’s March 14 application, which was served on the Lagos State government.

However, the application could not be heard. The court observed that the appellant’s failure to attach copies of the judgment as exhibit rendered the application incompetent.

Justice Ndukwe-Anyanwu said the option left was to strike out the application or adjourn it till another date.

Consequently, Amaechina sought an adjournment.

The court adjourned till April 7 for hearing of the bail application.

But the actress has asked the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.

In her Notice of Appeal, the appellant said the Court of Appeal erred in law when it affirmed the decision of the High Court by setting aside the option of N100,000 fine and substituting it with five years’ imprisonment.

The appellant added that the Court of Appeal erred when it affirmed the “interference by the High Court with the exercise of discretion by the Magistrate’s Court”.

She said the “judgment of the Court of Appeal is unreasonable and cannot be supported having regard to the evidence before the court”.

In a six-paragraph affidavit of urgency deposed to by Victor Eden, the deponent said Ibinabo was recovering from surgery and that a tumour was removed from her breast.

He said she needed constant monitoring by her doctors.

“Her wound has not fully healed and as such, she is afraid that her continued stay in the prison may endanger her life as she will not have access to special medical attention,” Eden said.

The deponent added that it would be in the interest of justice and her health and safety to admit Ibinabo to bail pending the determination of her appeal before the Supreme Court.

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 on the Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos.

Dissatisfied, 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’s Court.

But the appellate court in its judgment of February 11, dismissed Ibinabo’s appeal and affirmed the decision of the Lagos High Court.

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