Rape Saga: Judge disqualifies self from trial of Ex-Bayelsa Gov's aide over petition to NJC

Posted by News Express | 20 May 2019 | 991 times

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•The accused, Richard Kpodo

Justice Iniekadi Eradiri, of a Bayelsa State High Court on Monday disqualified from the trial of Chief Richard Kpodo, a former aide to ex-Gov. Timippre Sylva of Bayelsa.

Kpodo, standing trial for alleged rape of a 26-year female cashier, had appealed Justice Eradiri’s ruling, declining to disqualify self from hearing the case and petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) accusing the judge of bias.

Kpodo’s counsel, Julius Iyekoroghe, had on Dec. 21, 2018, approached Eradiri with a motion on notice, urging him to disqualify himself, Eradiri referred the application to Chief Judge of Bayelsa.

Justice Kate Abiri, Chief Judge of Bayelsa, subsequently declined an application to have the rape trial to another judge.

The defence counsel alleged that the judge showed bias in the case by refusing to grant bail to the defendant.

Ruling on the petition on Monday, Eradiri, said that he was constrained to hands off the case to pave way for the investigation by the NJC.

"I feel strongly that I should no longer continue with the case, since the petition against me before the National Judicial Council is being investigated.

"I will therefore hand over the case file to the Honourable Chief Judge," Eradiri said.

It will be recalled that, Kpodo who was earlier denied bail by Eradiri appealed the decision at the Appeal Court and was released from prison custody at Okaka Prisons Yenagoa, where he was held from July 2018 till April 2019 haven met the bail conditions.

Source: News Express

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