The embattled ex-beauty queen Ibinabo Fiberesima was granted bail by the Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos today. The court granted Mrs. Fiberesima bail while the Supreme Court of Nigeria deliberates her appeal of the five-year prison sentence handed down on her for manslaughter.
Mrs. Fiberesima was convicted of driving recklessly claiming the life of Dr. Giwa Suraj along the Lekki-Epe Expressway.
While sentencing Mrs. Fiberesima to five years imprisonment, Justice Deborah Oluwayemi overruled the decision of the State Magistrates Court which earlier ordered her to pay a N100,000 fine for the offence.
Dissatisfied with Justice Oluwayemi's verdict, the convicted ex-beauty queen approached the Court of Appeal to nullify the verdict, but the court also affirmed the sentence. Now the embattled Nollywood actress sought a favorable ruling by the Supreme Court.
In an affidavit of urgency, filed in support of her bail application before the Court of Appeal, one Victor Eden said she had just undergone a surgery for breast cancer and was still under the watch of her doctors.
Mr. Eden said Mrs. Fiberesima’s surgical wound had yet to properly heal, adding that the actress was afraid that her life might be endangered if kept in the prison custody. Therefore, he said it would best serve the interest of justice to release her on bail while the Supreme Court deliberates. The Lagos State Government did not oppose the application but urged the Court to use its discretion.
The State, represented by Mrs. Rotimi Odutola, held that the real concern was the appeal filed by the convict itself and not the bail request. Mrs. Odutola said that Mrs. Fiberesima was not disputing the verdict or conviction, only the sentence given to her.
The Court of Appeal granted Mrs. Fiberesima bail in the sum of N200 million, in the form of two sureties, and held that there was nothing in the record that she may skip bail.