A Nairobi court has increased Kapsaret Mp Oscar Sudi’s cash bail of KSh 300,000 to KSh500,000 as punishment after he skipped a hearing to campaign to retain his parliamentary seat .
The court was told the legislator chose to go on a campaign trail, as attested by his lawyer, instead of honouring a court date for hearing.
“A witness had traveled all the way from Bungoma…” prosecutor Joseph Riungu said.
Trial magistrate Felix Kombo said he had fallen short of cancelling the bond altogether, but would not let Sudi go unscathed.
“Your absence was careless and smirked of contempt…” the magistrate said.
Spat on court’s face
The magistrate said that an admission that Sudi had instead chosen to go on campaigns was ” spat on the courts face.”
“You(sic) are a role model and a lawmaker, you must be held accountable, your apology is not sufficient and cannot exempt(you), from punishment” the magistrate rapped Sudi.
Kombo said the worst that could happen was to cancel bail but instead enhanced it from Ksh300K to Ksh500K.
The politician begged not to be taken to the basement cells at Milimani law courts and remained in court as handlers topped up.
Likely to retain seat
He has put a temporary caveat on the criminal proceedings pending at the magistrate’s court.
Mp Oscar Sudi faces charges of forging his academic credentials and presenting a false declaration in the 2013 General Election for skipping court.
The trial court heard that he won the nominations and was likely to retain his seat.
Cash bail too lenient
Riungu had submitted that Sudi deliberately skipped the
court date “because his cash bail was too lenient” and that the
court should impose a heftier bail term which will make him turn up next time.
Sudi’s lawyer Thomas Ruto apologised to the court, saying he did not fail to attend court deliberately but “was engaged in short notice of political nominations where he participated and he was nominated to defend his position during the August 8 2017 General Election.
The MP’s lawyer assured court that he will not repeat and will attend court any time he is required.
It is alleged that that on January 30 2013 at IEBC offices in
Eldoret within Uasin Gishu county presented forged certificates to the electoral commission as he sought nominations.