Rape: Ex-Bayelsa security adviser to spend yuletide in prison

                        Trader, imates

A former Security Adviser in Bayelsa State, Chief Richard Perekeme Kpodoh will remain in the Federal Prison, Onaka, Yenagoa throughout the yuletide.

The Chief Judge of the state, Justice Kate Abiri, turned down an application of Kpodo, who was a security aide to Ex-Governor Timipre Sylva to transfer his case to another judge.

Kpodo is standing trial for rape of a 26-year-old cashier in his hotel located in Yenagoa, the state capital.

The accused person, who has been in the prison, halted his trial following his application to have his case transferred to another judge.

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The trial judge, Justice Eradiri decided to adjourn the case indefinitely pending the determination of the application.

But when the matter resumed on Friday, Justice Eradiri informed parties to the case that the Chief Judge declined the request of the accused.

He said: “The Chief judge turned down the 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.

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“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.

“Having 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”.

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In his response, the defence lawyer 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 lawyer said.

Kpodo is standing trial on two counts of unlawful detention and rape of the victim, a 26-year-old female cashier at the hotel run by the accused.

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