Posted by News Express | 31 January 2019 | 1,029 times
Justice Ineikade Eradiri of the Bayelsa High Court 7 on Thursday dismissed the objections raised by Chief Richard Kpodo accused of rape of a 26-year-old female employee.
Kpodo, former aide to Ex-Governor Timipre Sylva, had objected to the continued appearance of Prosecuting Counsel, Andrew Arthur, who was appointed a Commissioner for Special Services in Bayelsa.
The defence team had argued that the prosecuting fiat granted to Arthur as Special Prosecutor does not cover his present office as a Commissioner.
Counsel to the accused, Julius Iyekoroghe, had appealed a court ruling on Kpodo’s allegations against trial judge who was accused bias and urged to disqualify himself from the trial.
Justice Kate Abiri, Chief Judge of Bayelsa, had declined an application brought by Kpodo to have his case for alleged rape to another judge.
At the resumed trial on Thursday, Eradiri overruled the objection raised by the defense team and ruled that the powers delegated to the prosecuting counsel, Arthur, as Special Prosecutor was still valid.
He said: “Having gone through the fiat given by the Attorney General to the prosecutor, I find nothing in it that says that the prosecutor cannot continue in his present capacity.
“It is only the issuing authority that can revoke it and there is no indication as to that.
“His earlier appointment as Special Prosecutor for Violent Crimes was a Public Office, and so is his recent appointment as a Commissioner
“I, therefore, rule that the continued appearance of Andrew S. Arthur is in order through the trial up to the apex court,” Eradiri said.
Kpodo’s defense team led by E.J. Okele told the court they will test the ruling at the Court of Appeal and would not be disposed to continue with the case pending the outcome of the appeal.
“We had objected to the continued appearance of the Prosecuting Counsel, and it is our constitutional right to appeal within the window open to us and we shall be awaiting the outcome of our appeal.”
The judge adjourned the case to February 22 for the continuation of trial.
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