Justice Iniekadi Eradiri, of a Bayelsa High Court on Monday, recused himself from the trial of Chief Richard Kpodo, a former aide to ex-Gov. Timippre Sylva.
Kpodo is charged with alleged rape of a 26-year female cashier.
Ruling on the petition on Monday, Eradiri, said that he was constrained to hands-off the case to pave way for the investigation by the NJC.
“I feel strongly that I should no longer continue with the case , since the petition against me before the National Judicial Council is being investigated.
” I will, therefore, hand over the case file to the Chief Judge,” Eradiri said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kpodo’s counsel, Julius Iyekoroghe, had on Dec. 21, 2018, approached Eradiri with a motion on notice, urging him to disqualify himself.
Eradiri referred the application to the Chief Judge of Bayelsa.
Justice Kate Abiri, Chief Judge of Bayelsa, subsequently declined an application to hand the rape trial to another judge.
The defence counsel alleged that the judge showed bias in the case by refusing to grant bail to the defendant.