Dr Giwa’s Sister Speaks Extensively On How Ibinabo Killed Her Brother And Said She Never Apologised To The Family

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It’s indeed a sad interview and one can still feel the grief
and pain of Biola, the younger sister of late Dr. Giwa Suraj whom actress,
Ibinabo Fiberesima mistakenly killed in an accident. Biola speaks extensively
to Nonye Ben-Nwankwo….
Were you in Nigeria when your brother, Dr. Giwa died?
I have always lived in the US. I was home when the accident
happened. I have been living in the US for the past 33 years. We have forgiven
Ibinabo. We have moved on with our lives. My mum is still alive.  She cannot talk to anybody on this issue. It
is going to be a fresh wound. Some people are saying we have not forgiven her.
But that is not true. The Giwa family has moved on. It was an accident and
accidents do happen.  When people go out
every day, I don’t think anybody sets his or her mind to go out and kill
somebody.

So why is Ibinabo’s own different?
It wouldn’t have been like this. It was just the way she
conducted herself after the accident. 
When the accident happened, she fled the scene of the accident. She
doesn’t have good advisers. The state government had to find out who the owner
of the car she was driving was. That was when it was found out that the car
belonged to Daniel Wilson.
Didn’t you know who Ibinabo was then?
My first time of hearing that name was the day of the
accident. I had been in the US for over 20 years then and there was no way I
would have known anything about her then. 
I had another brother who was also in the car when that accident
happened. You can imagine two people of the same mother and father in that car.
They didn’t try to help them out, they all ran and left the scene of the
accident.
But some eyewitnesses said Ibinabo didn’t flee but was
rushed to the hospital…
If some other people were in the car with her, what about
those people? How come they didn’t try to help? Somebody should have stayed at
that scene to say he or she was with Ibinabo. But nobody said anything. And how
come the eyewitness is coming out now to talk? Where was he all these years? I
read he said my brother was shouting, ‘I am a doctor, don’t hold me like that.’
But that is a lie. Have they forgotten that there were other occupants in the
car?
Did you meet your brother alive when you got to the scene?
No. The other car was right on top of his car. The other
occupants were able to crawl out.
We learnt you said you would never forgive Ibinabo and you
would make sure she was sent to jail…
Why would I want to say that?  Is it not God that forgives? I don’t even
know her, so why would I say I wasn’t going to forgive her? I didn’t know who
she was. We weren’t even bothered about her. My mother had two kids in that
car. My brother’s wife came from England and we were having a prayer session.
That was when I saw Ibinabo. Would I say anything like that during a prayer
session? We were all crying. One of them went to my husband and somehow, it was
arranged that they meet me. My other brother who was involved in the accident
works in the US and he had to go back. He asked me to stay for a little while
so that one of us would be with our mother. I had to stay.
But did you at any point have a one on one discussion with
her?
God is my witness, my husband was also there, she got out of
the car and she came to me. The people she came with were just somewhere there,
they didn’t even come close. I asked her what she wanted and she said she had
come to plead so that the charges would be dropped. I told her it wasn’t
between us and her but between the state government and her. But I told her I
would rather give her an advice that would work for her. I told her if I were
in her shoes, I would apologise publicly to the masses and also to the family.
I advised her to throw herself to the mercy of the court. If she had done that,
people would know she was remorseful and they would know she had indeed
apologised. But she said she wasn’t going to do that. She said it would damage
her career. Believe me, if not that so many eyes were on us, I would have
kicked her for saying that. My husband was beside me when she said that. He
even looked at me. I couldn’t believe it. What? Dr. Giwa was the head of
physical rehabilitation medicine in LASUTH. He was the only one that had that
credential then in Lagos State. Dr. Giwa was valuable to the state. He had
helped a lot of people out. We have forgiven her; my mother has moved on, Dr.
Giwa’s kids have moved on.
Weren’t you offered money as a form of compensation?
What money? We don’t need her money! We are all good! Dr.
Giwa wasn’t the only breadwinner. Every one of us is doing very well.
But we learnt you threatened to kill her…
I learnt they said I said I would go and kill her. But why
would I do that? I hadn’t ever heard of her name before then. I had never seen
her before. If I had wanted to kill her, I would have killed a lot of people
since I didn’t know the identity of the person I wanted to kill. I wasn’t going
to do anything to her.
Was it that what you needed from Ibinabo was public apology
because we learnt she kept apologising to the family and nobody wanted to
listen to her…
Did she apologise publicly? I just wanted her to apologise
publicly so that people would know she was remorseful. But I don’t think it was
a wrong advice I gave her. She couldn’t apologise publicly back then but now,
she wants Nigerians to pray for her. But I say it again; it is not me versus
Ibinabo. It is not Giwa’s family versus Ibinabo. I am married and I am still
with my husband with three wonderful children. My kids are all grown. What do I
need from her? We are not in the same age group. I am older than her for God’s
sake. I am in my 50s and I am the youngest of my mother’s kids. I am even good
because if you talk to my other sisters, they would be ranting. She couldn’t
apologise publicly because she put her career ahead of her.
But Ibinabo reportedly said she had been visiting your
family in Nigeria here but she was warned not to come close again…
But that is a lie! How could she say that? My mother is in
Lagos. Ibinabo has never visited my mother! My mother does not even remember
her name. She doesn’t know if Ibinabo is white or black. Why would we warn her
from visiting my mother? I read that story in the papers and I had to ask
myself what is wrong with her. If she truly said that, then she lied. She
doesn’t have good advisers, I must tell you that again.
Some people said you are jealous of her…
How can I be jealous of Ibinabo? I am married and I have
three wonderful kids with the same man. I am very successful. I am an
accountant. It can be annoying when you hear some things. We had the memorial
service for my brother some weeks ago…
Was it before the judgement?
Oh yes! The case had dragged on for so long. The magistrate
court had found Ibinabo guilty. The DPP department took over the case; we
weren’t the ones that took her to court. It has never been us. They found her
guilty and sentenced her to prison for five years with an option of N100, 000
fine. So who wouldn’t look for N100, 000 to pay? Are you saying the life of the
doctor was worth just N100, 000? The state went to high court and the high
court found her guilty and said the N100, 000 should be returned to Ibinabo.
The court said there shouldn’t have been an option of fine. Ibinabo went to
appeal. It is all about her ego. The appeal court dragged on so long. Believe
me, I never knew the case was still on.
Are you saying you people weren’t following the case all
along?
No. People just told me about this judgement last Friday.
Some people called me from Nigeria and I was even amazed that the case was
still on. I have already moved on with my life. I do come to Nigeria and I
spend some time but it has never been because of this case.
What if she eventually apologises publicly?
I keep saying this; it is not between us and her. I don’t
have anything to say on this case. It doesn’t matter to me now if she does or
not. If she does it now and the government decides she has been remorseful and
pardons her, so be it. I don’t know who the judge is, I don’t know if he is a
man or woman. I don’t even know who is handling the case. If she apologises
now, it wouldn’t have anything to do with me. It is a broken wound. I only gave
her advice then and she didn’t take it. I can’t even recognise most of these
actors and actresses in Nigeria. I hardly watch Nigerian movies; I don’t have
the time because I am very busy.
We learnt you were excited about the judgement…
No. I wasn’t when I heard it. I was not excited and I was
not sorrowful either. I just said we needed to thank the justice system because
the case was delayed for so long. If we don’t thank them, they will not put
people to order, they would think they could do anything and get away with it.
Accidents happen and that is why it is called accident. But your attitude
towards it is what matters most. Some people have accidents less than this and
you would see how remorseful they would be.
But couldn’t the Giwa’s family have asked the state to drop
the case?
No. It is not done that way. It is not done like that in the
US where we live. I wouldn’t know if it is done like that in Nigeria. You don’t
even tamper with the judicial system. If you are taken to court, then you are
taken to court. Justice is in the hand of God.
How did your mother take his death?
It wasn’t easy. She didn’t have High Blood Pressure before
but she developed it after that incident. We had to rally around her. But she
also believed God has given and God has taken. She was able to manage and we
helped her.
Don’t you think Ibinabo has suffered enough? She was in jail
at some point…
She was in jail for about three weeks and she was bailed
out. Nobody is above the law. I always behave myself. I always pray to God that
I don’t get involved in any kind of accident. I always beg God not to take me
through accident. I don’t want to hit anybody and I don’t want anybody to hit
me. I can’t go to the government and ask them to drop the case.
Are you still in touch with the doctor’s family?

Of course, they are my family. One just came here. We
communicate all the time. We travel to the UK to see them too.

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