Ibinabo’s jail term: The Law vs My thoughts

There has been a lot in the news lately about Nollywood actress Ibinabo Fiberesima and her 5 year jail term. I read about it for the first time here. I’ve been filled with nothing but pity for her since I heard about the court verdict. A few days ago, her first son Sean penned an open letter to Nigerians saying his mom needs our prayers and support. Being the emotional nut that i often am, i cried was sad after reading the letter. Please don’t ask me about the incoherencies in some of the ‘facts’ he stated. Don’t ask me why he says his mom was in a coma when eye-witness reports say she fled the scene of the incidence and ‘tried to tamper with evidence’. Don’t ask me what it means to tamper with evidence. That phrase could only flow off the tongues of the self-acclaimed intelligent bunch we call lawyers.

I admire lawyers. I’ve always been intrigued by the practice of law. I remember as a child, the nerd in me would wait all week for my dad to bring home the Tuesday papers just so I could go through the articles in the law section. I moved on to binge-reading John Grisham’s novels which usually had a plot centered around the life of a young lawyer. Till date, one of the best compositions I’ve ever read is one in my high school English language textbook titled “the law is an ass”. I’ve even gone as far as attending mock trials. I have great respect for anyone who can lay aside sentiments and oftentimes a conscience when passing judgement.

Back to Ibinabo’s case. Firstly there is what the law has said- a 5 year jail term. Secondly there are those of the school of thought that the judgement is too lenient because she hasn’t been “sober enough” in the 10 years since the incidence. I really wonder who made us judges of someone else’s sobriety. I wonder what the S.I unit for sobriety is. Thirdly there are my fellow emotional brethren who would always let sentiments becloud their sense of judgement and would rather Ibinabo and the family of the deceased settle the case out of court.

Fourtly there is Iember. I don’t know where i stand on this one. One minute I’m thinking we could never have a sane society if the law isn’t enforced, and the next minute I’m thinking what would become of her kids if their mom ends up in jail? I hear her youngest child is 8. She would be 13 when her mom is out of jail. The time between ages 8 and 13 are some of the most impressionable years in a girls life. Should an 8 year old girl be deprived of her mom for 5 years? It’s sad just thinking about it, but I guess when it comes to the law, justice overrules feelings.

Will this jail term give the family of the deceased doctor the much-needed closure? I wish I knew. Would I pursue justice if a loved one was knocked down by a reckless driver knowing well that nothing will bring them back to life? I don’t know, I really don’t know.

Is the 5 year jail term enough to pacify those who say Ibinabo hasn’t acted ‘sober enough’? Once again I wish I knew what the SI unit for sobriety is. By the way, I think a 5 year jail term should be the punishment for jumping queues. That has got to be my greatest pet peeve! Why won’t people just wait their turns? But I digress. But wait, I need a minute to rant on this issue of jumping queues. That thing dey vex me! Why can’t we be orderly? Why didn’t you set out earlier if you’re in such a hurry? Are the rest of us on the queue there to play? End of rant. Back to the matter.

What’s your take on Ibinabo and the jail term? I can’t seem to take a stand. I’d just sit on the fence and await your reactions.

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