Perekeme Kpodo, a former Bayelsa Security Adviser, accused of raping a 26-year-old, has filed a petition to the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Kate Abiri, seeking a transfer of his case to another court.
On July 31, 2018, Kpodo was arraigned for alleged rape at High Court 7, after being earlier arraigned before a Magistrate Court in Yenagoa. Kpodo, who was charged on two counts of unlawful detention and rape of the victim, a female cashier at his hotel, had maintained that his trial was politically motivated.
However, in the petition filed on Wednesday, he alleged pre-trial conviction deal against him by the trial judge, Justice I. Eradiri and the State Public Prosecutor, Barrister A.J. Arthur.
The petition, filed during the court proceeding as an application before the trial judge, Justice Eradiri, disrupted the anticipated opening of defence and cross examination of witnesses by the counsel to Perekeme Kpodoh.
Though the petition caused a minor argument between the lead public prosecutor, A.J. Arthur and another counsel to the defence team, Barrister Douye Federekumo, over issues of rules and procedures in the adoption of the application/petition, it was later resolved by the presiding judge with an adjournment.
The accused, Perekeme Kpodoh, noted that the application for transfer of the suit titled YHC/95c/2018 was based on order 37, Rule 1 and 20 of the Bayelsa State High Court. The petition made available to newsmen and signed by the accused, Perekeme Kpodoh, read: "The trial judge in his ruling on my bail application alluded to the proof of evidence filed in the case as ones that are serious and not frivolous. I am very concerned about those comments of the judge, because the issue of the judge to make such reference while refusing my bail application is a manifestation of prejudice and explicable only in a conviction that the judge has derided the case against me pre-trial.
"The defence intends to expand the team of defence counsel but the court has failed, refused and neglected to furnish me with the records (especially typed records) in spite of repeated demands.This in my view is premeditated act to scuttle my defence against the charges.
"Furthermore, I have it on good authority that the public prosecutor Barr. A.S. Arthur goes about priding himself that the court would surely convict me because he trusts the Justice Eradiri is a pro-convictiom judge who committed in his case. Hence this application."