Rape: Ex-Bayelsa Gov’s aide appeals court ruling

Joy Emmanuel

Chief Richard Kpodo, former aide to Ex- governor Timippre Sylva standing trial for alleged rape of a 26-year- old  female cashier has appealed a court ruling on his allegations against the trial judge’s biase.

Justice Kate Abiri, Chief Judge of Bayelsa had declined an application brought by Kpodo to transfer the case to another judge.

Counsel to the accused, Julious Iyekoroghe on December 21,2018 approached Justice I. Eradiri with a motion on notice urging the judge to disqualify himself from hearing the case, alleging that the judge was biased.

Eradiri had dismissed the motion and adjourned to January for Defense team in the case to enter defense on the case.

At the resumed trial today, Kpodo’s defense team led by E.J. Okere told the court they had filed an appeal against the ruling on their allegation of bias by Eradiri; and hence could not enter defense.

“We applied to you to disqualify yourself from the trial on grounds of bias and our application was refused, so we appealed against that ruling, we will also file a stay of proceeding at the higher court.

“In view of the appeal before a higher court, we cannot enter defense at this moment,” Okere said.

Objecting to the moves to stall proceedings, Andrew Arthur, Prosecuting Counsel said the court should not stay its proceedings just because an appeal has been filed adding that the court should proceed on the case.

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