Alleged rape: Judge declines request to transfer case against ex-Sylva’s aide

                       

Justice Kate Abiri, Chief Judge of Bayelsa, on Friday, declined an application to have the rape trial of Chief Richard Kpodo, a former Security Adviser to ex-Governor Timipre Sylva to another judge.

Kpodo, is accused of allegedly raping a 26-year-old cashier in his hotel on Oct. 31.

The trial judge, Justice Eradiri had in a reaction to the development ruled that the case is adjourned indefinitely to await the decision of the Chief Judge of Bayelsa.

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At the resumed hearing on Friday, trial judge Justice Eradiri informed parties in the case that the Chief Judge has declined the request of the accused.
“The Chief judge turned down to request made by the accused and the counsel to the accused, Julious Iyekoroghe approached this court with a motion on notice seeking that I disqualify myself from hearing the case.
“The motion had alleged that I am biased based on denial of bail application and the comments I made that the charge was a serious one and therefore an indication of bias.
“When bias is alleged, the issues to be examined is whether a reasonable person following the case will consider the judge biased, otherwise no judge will be able to conclude a trial as accused persons will endlessly allege bias.
“Haven examined the motion on notice and the response of the prosecution and conclude that the motion has no iota of merit and is hereby dismissed and the case is hereby adjourned to January 24 for defense,” Eradiri ruled.
In his response, defence counsel, Iyekoroghe thanked the judge for the decision and notified the court that the decision would be challenged at a higher court.
“We shall put this ruling to test at a higher level,” the defence counsel said.

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