Nollywood actress, Ibinabo Fiberesima, has, for the first time, opened up on her ‘manslaughter’ case, begging Nigerians and the family of the deceased for forgiveness.
She described different versions of the story in the media as false and an attempt to assassinate her character, stressing that she was not drunk on the fateful as opposed to several media reports.
In multiple Instagram posts on Friday, April 27, Fiberesima said she did not debunk the media reports before now out of respect for the family of Dr. Suraj Giwa, who died in the head-on collision accident caused by the actress. Fiberesima said she wanted the family to heal.
The actress also revealed that since 2006 that the accident occurred and amid the prolonged trial and her eventual conviction, she fell into depression and nursed suicidal thoughts, but with the help of therapy, prayers, and support from family and friends, the ex-beauty queen said she is getting better.
On February 26, 2006, Fiberesima was driving along Lekki-Epe expressway when she lost control of the wheel and swerved into the inbound lane and rammed her car into Dr. Giwa’s, which resulted in his death.
The deceased was a medical practitioner at the Lagos General Hospital.
Consequently, the actress was arrested and charged to court for manslaughter and reckless driving. She was convicted and sentenced to five years in jail by Justice Deborah Oluwayemi of a Lagos State High court in 2009. She was later granted bail following an appeal filed by her lawyer, Mr. Nnaemeka Amaechina.
However, a Lagos High Court, on March 11, 2016, dismissed Fiberesima’s appeal and upheld her five-year jail term.
Read Ibinabo’s side of the story below:
My dearest friends and followers, I greet you this blessed Friday. Most of you may have heard about my sad story of accident that caused the life of a beautiful and amazing human, Dr. Suraj Giwa. For 12 years, I have remained silent; internally mourning, grieving and praying that time would heal his family and mine. Through those years of my silence, stories were manufactured in the mainstream and social media about the accident. There were so many stories. My character was assassinated. I did not tell my story. Nobody heard from me, until now. Please take few moments to read the next posts as I share my story of what really happened and seek forgiveness, peace for both families. I finally got the courage to tell my story to Azuka Jebose. It was a burden lifted off my soul. As you read, please continue to pray for the soul of Late Giwa, his family and my family. Thank you for your supports and prayers. God bless you. May the soul of Dr. Suraj Giwa continue to be at peace. Amen.
DEAR NIGERIA, I AM SORRY.” “ Dear Azuka,
I greet you. Thank you for allowing me to respond to your recent post here about my political ambition and the fatal accident of 2006. I need to tell my story. I stayed silent for so long and watched as my life, character and person were being ruined in published reports, including social media. This is my story, told for the first time on social media platform.
My heart has never stopped aching. It will not. An accident took the life of someone. I am forever in mourning because of this. Two families’ lives have been changed forever with this unfortunate fatal accident. It was an accident. Dr. Suraj Giwa didn’t have to die. I wished I could bring him back. I am sorry for the pains caused. I have also been maligned and disparaged in the media: I am a monster. I am a killer and a murderer, I am a drunk… No. Azuka. I am none of these.
I am just another human being that was in a deadly accident and the accident caused the death of Dr. Suraj Giwa.
It’s been 12 years of heartache, pain and depression for me. My eyes are rivers of tears.
Some days I feel like killing myself. Life has no meaning to me.
I think about Dr. Giwa every day. I pray for his soul and I pray and seek forgiveness from his family for the pain and agony. I am very sorry.
It didn’t have to happen. I wished I knew it would happen that unfortunate day, I would not have travelled that road. I was not drunk that day.
Azuka, I was driving along Lekki road, returning home after picking up a friend’s daughter from a church Fellowship. Suddenly, a red car overtook the SUV in front of me. The SUV was travelling slowly, so I shifted to its front, too. The red vehicle was being driven by a young man and had his friends with him…I drove past the red car. I think that might have angered the young chap because he swiftly sped from behind, drove past me and made a sudden stop in my front.
I tried to avoid hitting those boys in the red car. I swerved and lost control in that moment, the impact dived my vehicle into inbound lane.. Dr. Giwa was inbound, thus he drove into my car and both cars collided. I collapsed and passed out.. Three days later, I WOKE UP IN A HOSPITAL bed to learn what had happened. I was weak, sore and in pains. I could not move my legs. I had been sedated for three days. Doctors said they had to sedate me to numb my pain. Meanwhile, the police had been informed that I was in that hospital. The Lagos State Police came to the hospital to take my statement of what happened. After I gave them my statement, I was arrested at the hospital and charged to court.
At my court appearance for hearing, the judge noticed how sick, weak, incoherent an disoriented I was: he also saw my injuries. He ordered that I should be sent back to the hospital for further treatment until I was well enough to stand trial. I could not walk then.
Later at the hospital, I woke up from coma and to reality. I was afraid and shocked. I could not believe I was involved in an accident that had taken a life. I was like: Wow!..Someone died in that accident. Oh my God!. I didn’t know the family. While I was in the hospital my family contacted the family of Late dr. Giwa who died in the accident. My family was there for the funeral and did everything during the mourning season. I was afraid. But I met them in court and tried to approach them. I understood the anger and pain I had caused them, so I accepted their anger toward me….his sister was really angry at me… I wanted to talk to her… it was hard for me to get close to her… I understood all these: the pain and distress they felt as a result of the accident. I felt their pain. I wanted to tell them how sorry and remorseful I was… It was an accident. I did not intend to wake up that morning, went out and had a fatal collision.
Weeks later, I was arraigned. I attended all my court appearances. During the process I visited the family and attempted several times to make peace. I never ignored them. I am always sorry. I know the pain is tough, so I understood their anger but I kept begging. I am sorry.
I did not intend to wake up that morning, went out and had a fatal collision.
Weeks later, I was arraigned. I attended all my court appearances. During the process I visited the family and attempted several times to make peace. I never ignored them. I am always sorry. I know the pain is tough, so I understood their anger but I kept begging. I am sorry. I had gone to so many good people and friends to assist me in pleading for forgiveness from the family. One of such friends is late Iyalode of Lagos. She assisted me in begging the Giwa family: when I became well and able to walk, she took me to The former Imam of Lagos and the Present Oba of Lagos: these traditional and religious leaders begged on my behalf, pleading with the family for forgiveness and showed how sorry and remorseful I was that the accident happened. I never ran away from the scene of the accident.
I was unconscious.
How could an unconscious accident victim remove plate license and registration papers from the vehicle as reported in the media? Why would I do a thing like that? How could I have done a thing like that?
Azuka, these were all lies manufactured and circulated in the media to tarnish me. Days after the wreck, I woke up in a hospital.
I was never drunk as being speculated and alleged. I was never charged for drunk driving.
I was charged for reckless and dangerous driving.
I am forever very sorry this accident happened. I never planned for it. I plead with the family. I reached out to the GO of the church where the late doctor’s wife worships to beg him to join me plead with her. He was on a crusade in Benue and I went and met with him. I am very sorry it happened. I am not arrogant or careless. I have just been wrongly represented and maligned in the media. The story has several versions that make me a heartless beautiful beast and monster. I have not said much because the family is bereaved. It hurts. I need to respect their sorrows and what they are going through:trying to explain myself, I thought, would sound arrogant. So I kept quiet. I have been sorry from the moment I learnt the accident took a dear life.