Davidson Iriekpen

Efforts by convicted actress and former beauty queen, Ms. Ibinabo Fiberesima, to secure bail at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, suffered a setback yesterday due to the incompetence of her application.

The three-man panel presided over by Justice U.I Ndukwe-Anyanwu observed that the appellant failed to attach copies of the judgment delivered by the court which affirmed the five-year jail sentence imposed on her by a Lagos High Court.

Other justices on the panel were Samuel Oseji and Tijani Abubakar.

When the matter came up yesterday, Ibinabo’s lawyer, Nnaemeka Amaechina, briefed the court of an application dated March 14, adding that same had been served on the Lagos State Government (respondent).

However, the application could not be heard, as the court observed that the appellant failed to attach copies of the judgment of the court as an exhibit thereby rendering the whole application incompetent.

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

Consequently, Amaechina sought for an adjournment to enable him do the needful.

Consequently, the court adjourned the matter till April 7 for hearing.

Meanwhile, Ibinabo has asked the Supreme Court to set aside the judgment of the lower court.

In her notice of appeal, she stated that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it affirmed the judgment of the High Court of Lagos State by setting aside the option of a N100,000 fine by the magistrate’s court and substituting it with a term of five years imprisonment.

The appellant further stated that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it affirmed the interference by the High Court with the exercise of discretion by the trial Magistrate’s Court.

She added that the judgment of the Court of Appeal was unreasonable and could not be supported having regard to the evidence presented before the court.

In a six-paragraph affidavit of urgency deposed to by one Victor Eden, the deponent stated that Ibinabo was recovering from surgery and that she recently removed a tumour from her breast and needs 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,” he stated.

The deponent stated that it would be in the interest of justice and for her health and safety to admit Ibinabo to bail pending the hearing and 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 one Dr. Giwa Suraj in an auto accident along the Lekki-Epe expressway, Lagos.

Dissatisfied, Ibinabo in her amended appellant brief filed by her lawyer, 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 delivered on February 11 dismissed Ibinabo’s appeal and affirmed the decision of the Lagos High Court.