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Judge withdraws from trial of Sylva’s ex-aide

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Justice Ineikade Eradiri of the Bayelsa State High Court sitting in Yenagoa has disqualified himself from the on-going trial of Perekeme Kpodoh, former security adviser to former Governor Timpre Sylva.

The judge withdrew from the trial over the investigation of alleged bias and judicial misconduct against him before the National Judicial Council (NJC).

Justice Eradiri was the presiding judge in the two-count charge of rape in suit number YHC/95c/2018 filed against Kpodoh by the state government.

At the resumed hearing yesterday, Justice Eradiri, who was scheduled to deliver ruling on an application to disqualify himself from the case, refused to rule. He rather announced his withdrawal from the case and his intention to return the case file to the Chief Judge of the state for necessary action.

Eradiri was quoted as saying that though he responded to the allegations of judicial bias against him before the NJC, he could no longer continue with the case because the issue was already in the public domain and under investigation.

Chief Kpodoh, in his petition before the NJC, accused Eradiri of judicial misconduct without due regard to rules of the court.

The NJC, in a letter confirming the receipt of the petition against Justice Eradiri dated February 28, 2019 with reference number NJC/S6/BAY HC/9/1/154, assured the petitioner, Kpodoh, of speedy investigation.

The petitioner accused the Bayelsa High Court judge of misconduct in the case of alleged rape brought against him, saying the case was a clear case of conspiracy with the state government to indict him by all means for political gains.

In the two-page petition dated February 11, 2019, Kpodoh prayed the NJC to take appropriate action against the judge.

He insisted that the judge was part of a conspiracy to convict him for an offence he is innocent of.


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