Oya, see why Ibinabo must go to jail – Viola Okolie

Oya, see why Ibinabo must go to jail – Viola Okolie
When I first came face to face with the principle of “the bigger vehicle” otherwise known as “the underdog’s approach to dispute resolution”, I was lucky to have escaped to tell the story.

It was in Kano, circa 2000. I had just taken delivery of a fire-engine red, Honda Bazooka. Interestingly, the horse came before the cart. I had a car, but did not yet know how to drive.

So I registered for driving lessons and got a few licensed drivers from the office to keep me company as I drove, daily, to and from work with a big “L” attached to my plate numbers.

Ibinabo Fiberesima (2)We started on a Monday morning and slowly, I began to get more confident. That was until Thursday afternoon when a mail came in asking all drivers to proceed to Jos for a training. I was virtually on my own till the next Monday morning.

So on Friday, I convinced my flatmate to get into the car with me, and we made it safely to the office and back.

Zero incidents.

Zero drama.

On Saturday, we made it safely to the office again, but she had a different schedule so I was well and truly on my own now. Not to be deterred and since I couldn’t leave the car in the office, I set off for home. I successfully navigated the wicked Bata roundabout and got to the next junction. As I turned left to head homewards, an okada just came out of nowhere, flew across the road and cut in front of me.

I panicked.

I mistook the accelerator for the brakes and ran into the bomberklatt. I also thought that impact makes a car stop automatically (hello, AUTOMATIC anyone?), so I did not step on the brakes and kept going. Luckily, the man jumped off his bike just in time.

Hah.

I got down from the car to assess the damages and immediately, a mob of okada riders and passers by swooped on me. Luckily, some of my colleagues in the office were driving behind me and there was a police unit just passing by who were able to arrest the situation before it got too out of hand.

Anyway, long story short… we left the “beat and roast” section of the drama and attempted to resolve the issue only to hear that I was at fault and was supposed to fix the bike, then give the biker some cash to feel good.

Why?

How?

Everyone at the scene of the accident agreed that the biker was at fault. Even he by his own accounts admitted to zooming across an intersection and straight across the road… but I was at fault.

Reason?

Bigger vehicle.

In a nutshell, this is how it works in the jungle:

If you are riding your bicycle down the road and a small boy driving his “gere gere” suddenly dashes out of a side road and you are unable to avoid crashing into him, YOU are at fault.

Reason? Bigger vehicle.

If a bicycle rider suddenly drops out of the moon and runs into a motorbike rider, the motor bike is at fault.

Reason? Bigger vehicle.

If a motorbike runs into a Kia Picanto, the Kia is at fault.

Reason? I am sure you know how this works now.

And so on and so forth.

No need for crash scene diagnostics and all those time wasting ventures, simply work out which of the vehicles involved is bigger than the other and there… you have your culprit.

That is one thing that always worries me about this Ibinabo Fiberesima accident issue.

From the onset, she was accused of fleeing the accident scene – so how then did we arrive at the drink driving accusation?

How was her state of inebriation or otherwise arrived at, if she was not there for at least the minimum “sniff test” to be carried out?

Or did we simply apply the principle of the “bigger vehicle”?

And then the accusations of “not showing remorse” how did we come about that? From the gleeful updates the family of the deceased Doctor have been putting out, I get the impression that this was more about the lack of remorse on the part of the celebrity than anything else.

That word “remorse” sef. I recall seeing pictures of Ibinabo red eyed and snotty nosed all over the place in the aftermath of that car crash. I doubt she was feeling sorry for herself because I also recall reading a lot from her saying how sorry she was that the doctor died, I recall reading about trips to visit the doctor’s family, etc.

Was that not remorse enough?

Yes it wouldn’t bring back the deceased breadwinner but seriously? Have they waited these past ten years without winning a single slice of bread in the absence of the doctor? Or would dragging Ibinabo through the pits of desolation bring back their breadwinner?

I see a lot of people struggling to stifle their opinions in the face of the upholding of Ibinabo’s 5 year jail term by the Appellate court for fear of being labelled or accused of what they know next to nothing about – political correctness is a drag!

See, what the bereaved needs more than anything else now, is closure.

Except I am mistaken and what they require is a pound of flesh; an eye for an eye. Even if you kill Ibinabo today, the late Dr. Giwa will not return and the bereaved must find other ways to win their bread.

So what they need is closure. We cannot determine for them how they should go about achieving that closure. Some “forgive and forget”, others “leave it for God” and yet a whole lot of others “pursue a matter to it’s logical conclusion”.

While doing that, it is also imperative for them to understand that Ibinabo also has the right to exhaust whatever lifelines are available to her under the law.

She can even appeal to God if she feels she is being wrongfully punished and then if God decides to intervene on her behalf, who are we to say No?

Maligning her just sounds plain petty to me.

And so what if she happily paid the fine of N100,000. It was the ruling of the court and she abided by it.

And so what if she was living her life the past ten years. What was she meant to do? Put on sackcloth for the rest of her life and crawl into a hole in order to convince the bereaved that she was remorseful?

Will that bring back the deceased?

Seriously, I am struggling to understand what all the stories and playing to the gallery and media black washing of Ibinabo is meant to achieve.

An accident occured.

Unfortunately, a life was lost.

If the courts find Ibinabo guilty having ensured that they are working strictly with fact and not applying the principle of “the bigger vehicle” is at fault, then she needs to face her predicament with equanimity and accept this as penance.

Perhaps this would help her achieve closure having paid all her dues to man as far as this incident is concerned.

And who knows, maybe this would finally bring closure to the family of the deceased? Maybe…

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