A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Bayelsa State, Chief Perekeme Richard Kpodo, has been put behind bars at the Okaka prison for two weeks.
Kpodo was arraigned before Magistrate, E.T Empire-Ugwa of Magistrate Court 10 on two counts bordering on unlawful detention and rape of one Teke Blessing.
The charge Sheet read that Kpodo was alleged to have detained Blessing on June 20, 2018 at Etegwe area of Yenagoa with an intent to defile her and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 155 of the Criminal Code.
Kpodo, a former Security Adviser in the state, was said to have, on same day, allegedly detained the girl, raped her thereby committing an offence punishable under section 285 of the Criminal Code.
He however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and his lawyer, Julius Iyekoroghe, who was represented by Funlayeifa Seibokuru, applied for the bail on grounds of sickness and personal recognition.
The lawyer argued that the bail application was hinged on the fact that every accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
He said that the accused aside being hypertensive, also suffered other sicknesses and appealed to the court to grant him bail because he is a known politician and businessman, who owned hotels and properties in the state.
The lawyer said that the arraignment was politically motivated because he has refused overtures made to him by the PDP to back down on his criticism of government policies.
“If granted bail, he won’t jump bail. We also have sureties that are also ready to take him on bail. The court should consider his ill health and his personality and grant him bail”, he said.
The Prosecutor, Ayibatonye Jumbo, however, opposed the bail application, pointing out that Kpodoh wields so much influence which can jeopardise the case if released on bail.
“There is the likelihood of the accused person interfering with the witnesses of the prosecution.
“The court should also consider the prevalence of the offence on daily basis.
“Almost on a daily basis, crimes like rape occur. Some are not reported because of stigma of the victims”, Jumbo said.
Jumbo also punctured the argument of the ailments afflicting the accused pointing out that there is no medical record to back up the claims.
“The count one is misdemeanor, which is not a serious offence. But the second count is felony and a serious offence, which if he is convicted, he will be jailed for life. Based on this, we appeal to the court to reject the bail application.”
The judge ordered that the accused be remanded in the Okaka Prison facilities and adjourned the matter till two week’s time.