By Lukman Olabiyi
Embattled ex-beauty queen, Ibinabo Fiberesima got of temporary relief as Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos granted her bail pending the determination of her appeal at the Supreme Court.
Justice Deborah Oluwayemi of the State High Court had in 2009 convicted Fiberesima of manslaughter, holding that her reckless driving was responsible for an auto crash, which claimed the life of one Dr. Giwa Suraj on the Lekki-Epe Expressway.
While sentencing Fiberesima to five years imprisonment, Justice Oluwayemi overruled the decision of the State Magistrates’ Court which earlier ordered her to pay N100,000 for the offence.
Having dissatisfied with Justice Oluwayemi’s verdict, the convict approached Court of Appeal to nullify the verdict but the court also affirmed it.
Again, the embattled Nollywood actress approached Supreme Court and the matter is pending before the court.
Besides, Fiberesima filed an application before the Court of Appeal, prayed the court to release her on bail pending when the Supreme Court would hear and determine her appeal against the appellate court’s judgment.
In an affidavit of urgency filed in support of her bail application before the Court of Appeal, one Victor Eden said Fiberesima had just undergone a surgery for breast cancer and was still under the watch of her doctors.
Eden said 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.
He said it would best serve the interest of justice to release Fiberesima on bail while the Supreme Court’s decision in her case was being awaited
Lagos State Government did not opposed the application but urged the court to use it discretion.
The state represented by Mrs. Rotimi Odutola held that what real concern the state was the pursuit of the appeal filed by the convict.
She said the basis of the appeal was not on whether Feberesima was guilty or not, adding the actress did not disputed her conviction but only appeal the sentence.
After listing to argument of both parties, Justice Sidi Bage, who led the three-man panel granted the convict bail in the sum of two million naira with two sureties in the like sum
Justice Samuel Osuji who read the lead judgment held that there was nothing in the record of the court that the convict once jump bail.
And there was enough evidence before that the convict has health challenge
However, one of the three-man panel, Justice Y B Nimba did not agree with the panel, she held that no special circumstance exist for the grant of bail.