Justice Iniekadi Eradiri of a Bayelsa High Court on Monday recused himself from the trial of Richard Kpodo, a former aide to an ex-governor of the state, Timipriye Sylva.
Mr Kpodo is charged with the alleged rape of a 26-year female cashier.
Ruling on the petition on Monday, Mr Eradiri said that he was constrained to hands off the case to pave way for the investigation by the National Judicial Council (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,” Mr Eradiri said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Kpodo’s counsel, Julius Iyekoroghe, had on December 21, 2018, approached Mr Eradiri with a motion on notice, urging him to disqualify himself.
Mr Eradiri referred the application to the Chief Judge of Bayelsa State, Kate Abiri, who subsequently declined an application to assign 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.