The True Story of the Night Ibinabo Fibresima Killed Dr Giwa- Eyewitness

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The wheel of information has been churning non stop since one time Nollywood sensation and ex-Beauty Queen, Ibinabo Fiberesima lost her case at the Appeal Court in Lagos and was sent straight to Prison on Friday the 11th of March 2016.

This was a case that was out of the public consciousness as the event in question was a decade ago. In that time, insurgency, terrorism, Abductions and so on have been rampant and therefore drove everything else to the back of the minds of Nigerians.

The actress was jailed for five years and she has since appealed, she will remain in custody for the duration of the legal battle. The reactions following the news have been of shock, not at the harshness of the court’s decision, but more because of the fact that she’s Ibinabo Fibresima– a celebrity, a person the public loves.

But with every controversy there are two sides; one that understands and can logically accept and dissect the issues and the others who are a tad hasty. As a society we are largely too black and white for our own good. Someone is either a saint or a demon, impeccable or reckless, there’s no middle ground, no understanding or grasp of the subtle complexities that make us human.
 
 Many WhatsApp groups that center around entertainment have been putting heads together on how to help the embattled actress. There was a munched shot of the daughter of Dr Giwa (The victim) reacting to Ibinabo’s son’s public plea for prayers for his mother. The daughter looked bitter and on seeing it, it caused a storm of opinion with many fuelled by the image giving out armchair comments like ‘she being drunk from a night club outing’ and ‘running away from the scene of the accident’ after it happened.
There was an open letter of the sister of late Doctor who understandably gave an emotionally charged, but one-sided narrative of what she believes happened and ended her letter by applauding the Justice system for vindicating her understandable anger towards Ibinabo for the past eleven years.
 
With things coming to a head and more and more opinions based on emotion rather than fact coming to light, something had to give.
And it did
 
An influential Nollywood personality, tired of all the lazy accusations and half baked analyses stated ‘you know, Guys? There are facts of the case which I know and which haven’t come to light all these years. My brother was an eye witness and saw all what happened that night’
 
Naturally this was like a breaking of a dam. A flood of questions followed.
Finally, another influential figure in the industry, Charles Novia, decided to interview the eyewitness. Below is the interview with one Mr. De Gaulle which gives a full account on the events of the 26th of February 2006.
 
C.N.- ‘Good afternoon, Mr De Gaulle. Your sister gave me your number to call you to find out what happened that night. My name is Charles Novia’
 
D.G- ‘Oh ok. Yes, she told me you would call. My name is De Gaulle.You see, I’m ready to come out to testify or say whatever happened that night of the accident because it happened in my presence. I witnessed it and saw everything. We were many who saw what happened that evening and I assumed that others might have told the world what really went down but I’m surprised to read so many untrue things about what happened at the scene of the accident that evening’ He said.
 
 C.N.- ‘Please go ahead, Sir. I’m taking notes and recording’
D.G- ‘Ok. I saw Ibinabo a few years ago ( about six years ago) in Port Harcourt at a restaurant called Gessy ( or Jessy?). She was with some of your colleagues and my sister was there too. I told my sister that ‘Hey! That’s that girl whom I helped at the scene of the accident years ago’. My sister was surprised and called Ibinabo to meet me. And when I told her what I’m about to tell you, she was surprised and quiet for a long time.
 
That evening, what happened was that the Doctor’s car was coming from the Victoria Island axis of the first Lekki Roundabout which leads into the Lekki Phase One Estate, while another SUV which was being driven by Ibinabo was coming out from the estate, if I remember correctly. I cannot tell who was speeding or what but we heard a loud crash and then I think the doctors car somersaulted while the other car driven by Ibinabo was flung a few metres to the other side.
C.N.- ‘Was it midnight or late at night?’
 
D.G- ‘No! It was early evening. There was still the last trace of evening light. It might have been just before seven o’clock or after seven. But it wasn’t late
 So what happened was that the Doctor’s car was upside down and somehow his hand was crushed and he was trapped in the car. Immediately a few Area Boys and bystanders rushed to him to try and help him out of the crushed car. I quickly parked my car and came out to help as I rushed to the doctors car. A few other cars stopped as well.
 
I noticed that the other car was motionless and no one really was paying much attention to that car. What got my attention was the special number plates on the car which read ‘ DANIEL WILSON’ a popular musician in the nineties in Nigeria.
 
When I got to the doctor’s car, the area boys and bystanders were gathered round the car and were trying to help the man out of the car in the upturned vehicle. At that point, the man was very much alive. I swear he was alive and groaning but he was alive. His arm was crushed or underpinned by the impact of the car and I still think that it was the inexperience of the area boys and bystanders in trying to pull the man out of the car, which killed him faster.
 
I am sorry to say that but that is my belief because of what I saw. The people who gathered round that car may have meant well but they were also callous in responding to the emergency and were dragging at the man, trying to pull him from the crushed car.
The doctor kept crying out ( and I heard everything clearly because I saw it and was even telling the crowd to be gentle) and was shouting ‘ No! Take it easy! I’m a doctor. Don’t pull me like that. Easy!’. I heard everything.
 
At this time, all attention was on the doctor. And I heard someone in the crowd say that if anything happened to the man, they would make sure the occupant in the other car suffers.
Immediately I heard that, I went to the other car because I thought it was Daniel Wilson involved from the number plates. I was surprised to see a fair-skinned lady behind the wheel, unconscious and still. There was another lady in the car with her in the front seat. I think it was a young lady of about sixteen years or a teenager. That young lady was weeping and shaking.
After hearing what the guys at the other side had said about the occupant of the car, my first instinct was to get them to safety or to the hospital. I asked the young lady ‘ is there anyone you can call to take you people to the hospital? You and this woman have to leave this place now and get to a hospital’
 
I helped stop a taxi and helped carry the unconscious Ibinabo to the car and the taxi took them away.
 
Then I now returned to the other car of the late Doctor. When I got there, another set of cars full of some doctors had arrived the scene. The doctors said they were coming from some kind of meeting or event near the beach or somewhere near if I remember and that the bleeding occupant of the car was their colleague whom they had seen earlier.
 
By the time I got back, the car had been turned to a standing position but I believe it was too late for the injured person in that car at that point.’
C.N.-‘So you say the doctor in the car was alive when the accident happened?’
 
D.G- ‘He was. There was no immediate emergency care to help him from competent medical personnel as what would obtain today and the crowd tried to help him out and he was calling out in pain. It was sad and painful. So when I saw Ibinabo a couple of years later in Port-Harcourt and told her that I was the person who removed her from the car and put her in a taxi, she was speechless and quaky. She too could have died that evening. She didn’t run away from the scene of the accident at all. I was the person who put her in a taxi to a hospital’
C.N.- ‘Why did it take you such a long time to come out to tell this story?’
D.G- ‘I have been in and out of Nigeria these past ten years. And I actually thought too that the case was done with all this while. I was surprised to hear that she was just sent to jail. Look, it was an unfortunate thing which happened. And I am ready at anytime, ANYTIME if I am called upon to testify on what I saw. It happened before my eyes. If my testimony would help put facts straight, I am ready’
 
 In a separate interview with Daniel Wilson conducted again by Charles Novia, the ageing celebrity had this to say  ‘She’s my sister. We are from the same state and local government. It was the week of my mother’s burial and Ibinabo had come from Port-Harcourt to help me with the burial. She was wonderful and really supportive. That day, she needed the car to get to somewhere on the island and I asked her to pick any from the pool of cars in my compound. I was surprised when I got a call a couple of hours later that there was an accident. I rushed to the hospital, St Nicholas, and she was unconscious. But when she came out of it, she was delirious and traumatised. She was shaky. Look Charles, Ibinabo is a gentle soul. It was unfortunate that the accident happen but it was not intentional in anyway. And we have been begging the family of the late doctor. Who said we haven’t begged? I personally, made numerous visits to the house to see the widow and elders of the family. We attended the burial of the doctor. 
I was there. We begged and begged. Not because we think begging could bring the man back but just because it’s human nature to forgive. So, it’s not true that we remained aloof’ Daniel concluded.
 
There you have it. The interview sheds new light on the facts of the case as many know it. No, Ibinabo did not run and there’s no conclusive evidence that she was drunk. When you consider the fact that she had passengers in the car one of them a teenager, it lends credence to the fact that she probably wasn’t drinking and driving.
 
She did kill a man, that doesn’t change and we have laws that govern that. The prison sentence cannot be viewed as harsh, but perhaps the understanding of the public is much better now. The deceased’s family may feel some sort of closure, maybe the jail term will bring some succour, it cannot bring back what they’ve lost, nothing can, but if it helps them heal then maybe that’s justice for them. Restitution is also an option, but it is not legally recognized here in our society. When the jail term is up, how will the family react? Will Ibinabo still be viewed as a reckless murderer, or just the second half of an unfortunate incident?

 

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