Justice Ineikade Eradiri of Yenagoa High Court, on Thursday, dismissed the objections raised by Richard Kpodo, accused of raping a 26-year-old woman.
Mr Kpodo, former aide to ex-Governor Timipre Sylva, had urged the court to stop the appearance of Andrew Arthur as the prosecuting counsel in the case. He said this is because Mr Arthur is a Commissioner for Special Services in Bayelsa.
He argued that the prosecuting fiat granted to Mr Arthur as special prosecutor had nothing to do with his current office as a commissioner.
But the judge overruled the objection. He said the powers delegated to Mr Arthur as Special Prosecutor was in order.
“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.
Mr Kpodo’s defence team, led by E.J. Okele, told the court they would 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,” Mr Okele said.
The judge adjourned the case until February 22 for the continuation of trial.
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