Indeed no one is above the law— every human will be held responsible for their actions, even your favourite celebrities. Over time, several Nigerian screen queens and kings have been compelled to face the law over their acts or conduct. In this article, we bring you five (5) Nigerian celebrities who have committed offences that took them to prison.
1. Nollywood Actress, Ibinabo Fiberesima
Beautiful Nollywood actress and former beauty queen, Ibinabo Fiberesima, was convicted for reckless driving and manslaughter after she accidentally killed a man who was identified as Giwa Suraj in 2006. Fiberesima was journeying around the Lekki- Epe expressway when the unfortunate incident occurred.
The victim was a medical doctor at the Lagos State Teaching Hospital. However, three years later— the Nollywood actress was brought before Justice Deborah Oluwayemi of the Lagos State High court who found her guilty and sentenced her to five years imprisonment. The verdict was strongly upheld after her lawyer, Nnaemeka Amaechina, filed for an appeal.
2. Another Nollywood Actress, Rabi Ismaila
This time, a popular Kano- based Hausa movie actress, Rabi Ismaila, was charged and convicted for murder after she gruesomely killed her lover, one Mr Auwalu, in order to seize his property. On the 5th of January, 2005, a High Court in Kano sentenced Rabi to death by hanging.
How did she kill Auwalu?
It was reported that Rabi lured her lover to a picnic at Tiga Dam where she drugged, and pushed him into the dam. She was initially held at the Kaduna Central prison from where she was then moved to the Hadejia prison. A few weeks later, Rabi Ismaila escaped from prison, and it took the Nigerian security operatives six years to re- arrest her.
3. Award- winning Nollywood Actor, Uche Odoputa
Around March 2007, revered Nollywood actor and TV personality, Uche Odoputa was nabbed by officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) with 1. 336kg of cocaine at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos. The talented actor was arrested while on his way to the United Kingdom.
Odoputa confessed that he was talked into the crime by some of his London friends— he was later convicted and sentenced to two years in prison. He has since been served his jail term and had expressed regrets over his actions. He once said in an interview:
” I regret my actions. I was a growing brand, and a lot of people were angered by my action. I was disappointed in myself. I Thank God I came out of prison a changed person. ”
Uche Odoputa now lives in Port Harcourt with his family; however, the drug scandal has all but shattered his Nollywood career.
4. Yoruba Movie Actress, Taiwo Akinwande
A respected and revered Nollywood actress, Taiwo Akinwande, also known as Yetunde Wunmi, was apprehended by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in October 2006 for cocaine trafficking. Yetunde Wunmi was headed for London when she was nabbed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
Her arrest shocked the Yoruba movie industry as she was one of the most outstanding actresses of her time. However, she confessed to the crime and was convicted and sentenced to three years imprisonment by Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
After her jail term, Wunmi spoke to The Entertainer and was quoted as saying; ” That was the bitter pill that would remain in my system for the rest of my life, and it’ s my only regret in life.
5. Lola Margaret Arrested For Fraud
Another popular Yoruba actress and filmmaker, Lola Margaret, was arrested in the USA for alleged credit card fraud. The Ilesha- born actress was picked up by US detectives after some suspicious amount of money was wired into her bank account.
According to reports, Lola had constantly withdrawn the money and this attracted the attention of US authorities. The Atlanta police arrested her and the actress’ mugshot went viral on major social media platforms. However, she was released in 2018 and deported back to Nigeria.
Lola Margaret is now free and has relocated to Ibadan from Lagos where she is believed to be maintaining a low profile. During an interview, she revealed that she was betrayed by an unnamed friend who is also in the movie industry.
These five super- talented movie stars have had their flashy and glamorous lifestyles put in check following their involvement in crimes. From being fan favourites to ex- convicts; it is indeed depressing for these stars.
More worrisomely, these Nollywood stars are not getting movie roles like they did in times past— the reason is not far- fetched. The stain on their once immaculate images has all but ended their Nollywood careers. It will never be as it used to be for these movie stars.
We wish them all the best as they aim to reignite their glory days.