Sirisia MP John Waluke when he appeared at the Milimani anti-corruption court for judgment. Photos By Gregory Matumbayi.
After being sentenced to serve a historic jail term of 67 years in prison, Sirisia MP John Waluke Koyi's future life in politics and general life seemed doomed with no hope at the end of the tunnel as his parliamentary seat seemed snatched from him by the jail term.
The vocal MP who has since started serving his jail term at the Industrial Area Prison in Nairobi could not raise over Kshs 700 million that Chief principal Magistrate at the anti-corruption court Elizabeth Juma slapped him alongside his co-accused 79-year-old Grace Sarapay Wakhungu who was sentenced a total of 69 years in jail or pay a slightly more amount than Waluke's.
The two were co-accused in a corruption case where they were accused of defrauding over Kshs 300 million in a maize supply scandal to National Cereals and Produce Board - NCPB back in 2003.
Despite his family and friends let by his first wife to fund raise money to raise the fine, the legislator who is allied to deputy president Dr William Ruto could not raise anything above Kshs 100,000 hence that line could not work.
However according to one of his lawyers Sam Nyaberi who have filed an appeal at the high court to dispute the sentence among other issues, the MP is likely to be released on bond as he awaits his appeal to be heard as he goes on with his normal duties out of prison.
Waluke with co-accused Grace Sarapay Wakhungu on judgment day at Milimani courts.
The lawyer who spoke to journalists Thursday morning at the Milimani courts said that the team representing the MP had filed an application at the high court seeking to have their client released on bond and deal with the appeal while in freedom.
Nyaberi noted that normally appeals take relatively longer periods to be heard and determined hence it will be detrimental if their client remained in jail awaiting the long period that his appeal might take due to the backlog of cases pending at the courts.
"Normally appeals tend to take longer periods like 10 months or even a year hence due to that we have today filed an application at the high court to seek the release of our client on bond so that he can be out of jail to continue with his day-to-day activities including his parliamentary duty as he pursues the appeal against the sentence," said Nyaberi.
One of Waluke's lawyer Sam Nyaberi speaking to journalists at Milimani law courts Thursday morning.
The lawyer further noted that in the application the defense team will also seek to also argue over the sentence that is seen by many people as harsh to the legislator with his co-accused.
"Our application will also serve partly as an appeal because during the hearing of the application we will use the opportunity to argue over the sentence of 67 years that is like a death sentence given by a lower court to our client because it is like the magistrate wants him to die in jail serving the sentence in prison," added Nyaberi.
If Waluke's application for bond emerges successful then it means he will be free to continue with his duty as an MP among other day-to-day activities that he is always engaged in and therefore putting on hold any plans by his opponents who were warming up for a possible by-election in the Sirisia constituency following the conviction of the MP.
According to the independent electoral and boundaries commission - IEBC a legislator loses his or her seat if he is imprisoned for over six months but if Waluke will be out on bond then it means he will continue attending parliamentary sessions and delivering all the other mandates bestowed on him as a representative of the people of Sirisia.
The legislator must now be praying and crossing his fingers hoping that his application for bond will be allowed to safe his political lifeline.
Lawyer Sam Nyaberi at Milimani Law Courts.
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