Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal yesterday reserved judgement in an appeal filed by 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.
Fiberesima was sentenced to five years imprisonment by Justice Deborah Oluwayemi-led court for reckless driving which caused the death of one Dr. Giwa Suraj, a staff of Lagos State Hospital, in an auto accident along the Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos.
At the hearing of the appeal on Thursday, the appellate court presided over by Justice U.I. Ndukwe-Anyanwu reserved judgement in the appeal after counsels adopted their written addresses.
The court also directed that the appellant (Fiberesima) ruled that the date would be communicated to the parties.
Fiberesima had earlier been awarded a N100, 000 fine by an Igbosere Chief Magistrate Court, but the then Lagos State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Supo Sasore (SAN) was unsatisfied with the judgement; and 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 court and sentence 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 ruled 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 Fiberesima.
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 term of imprisonment is mandatory the court cannot and should not give an option of fine.
Dissatisfied, Fiberesima in her amended appeal filed by her lawyer, Nnaemeka Amaechina, before the Court of Appeal, urged the court to set aside the five years sentence and restore the decision of the magistrate court.
Adopting the brief yesterday, Amaechina argued that the magistrate court exercised its discretion properly and there was no ground to review it by the high court.
In her response, counsel to Lagos State, Rotimi Odutola (Mrs.) argued that the law creating the offence of dangerous driving causing death had provided for a term of imprisonment as punishment for anyone convicted under section 28, hence the trial magistrate ought not to have exercise such arbitrary discretion to impose N100.000 as fine.
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 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.

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