Bayelsa ex-security adviser seeks Court of Appeal’s review denial of bail in rape trial

Chief Richard Kpodo, a former Security Adviser to ex-Governor Timipre Sylva standing trial for alleged rape of a 26-year-old former employee has appealed an earlier ruling denying him bail.

   Trial judge, Justice E. Eradiri, had on July 31, denied the accused bail, premised on his health condition and ruled Kpodo be remanded in Prison custody from where he would be given access to medical care.

 A Notice of Motion on the appeal filed at the Court of Appeal sighted  on Wednesday in Yenagoa, the accused is seeking a review of the denial of his bail application by a Bayelsa Court.

 The motion also prayed the Appeal Court to waive the 15-day window allowed by the Court of Appeal Rules 2016 to accommodate the appeal.

  The appeal filed by the accused lead Defense Counsel Anthony George-Ikoli (SAN) argued that the offence for which Kpodo was being tried was bailable and assured that the acussed would be available to face trial.

  Kpodo’s defense counsel noted that the acused has a chronic heart and kidney condition requiring specialized medical attention and continued incarceration would worsen the accused medical condition.

 The motion urged the appellate court to upturn the decision of the lower trial court and grant the accused bail pending the determination of the case at the High Court of Bayelsa.

  Mr Julius Iyekoroghe, a Counsel on the defense team said on Wednesday that the appeal on the denial of bail by a Bayelsa State High Court was heard by the Court of Appeal siting in Port Harcourt on Monday.

 “We were in Court for the appeal on the denial of bail to our client on a trumped up and politically motivated charge was calculated to keep him out of circulation in the current political season.

‘Our application was heard, we approached the higher court because the denial of bail application was unjust and we want the higher court to review the decision.

  “The court adjourned ruling on the appeal to a later date that would be communicated to the parties,” Iyekoroghe said.

  The trial at Bayelsa High Court 7 was on October 31, halted as the accused sought a transfer of the case to another judge.

  The accused defence team was slated to open defence on the laet adjourned date of October 31, when, the state’s prosecutor informed the court that there was a pending application by the accused to have the case tried by another judge.

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

  Before the adjournment, the victim had in a previous hearing together with three witnesses testified before the judge, and was cross examined by the defense counsel before the prosecution team closed its case.

  It would be recalled that Kpodo, was on July 31, 2018 arraigned for alleged rape at High Court 7 after being earlier arraigned before a magistrates’ court in Yenagoa.

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

  An uncle of the victim and a medical doctor who examined her on June 9, after she had been allegedly raped the previous day had also testified in the case.

 Kpodo who was denied bail by the trial judge would remain in prison custody pending the reassignment of the case to another judge.

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