Court banishes MP Paul Mwirigi from home county for two weeks

Igembe South MP John Paul Mwirigi when he was arraigned in court on Tuesday. [Olivia Murithi, Standard]

Igembe South MP John Paul Mwirigi was Tuesday banished by a court from his constituency and county for two weeks.

This is after he denied two counts of interfering with police in execution of their duties.

Appearing before Senior Principal Magistrate Stella Abuya after spending a night in custody, the 24-year-old was represented by lawyers Kirimi Mbogo, Ken Muriuki and Peter Kaimba.

He denied obstructing police constable Mohamed Ndemo at Muchuune near Mikinduri market in Tigania East on Monday, November 26.

He also denied a charge of aiding a motorcyclist in the same location who was under police custody to escape.

Mwirigi is said to have interfered in police duties during the incident on the Meru-Mikinduri-Maua Highway.

The first time MP together with his counterparts Rahim Dawood and Eala's Mpuru Aburi have been steering a crusade against alleged harassment of hundreds of operators of unlicensed saloon cars operating as matatus.

Ms Abuya asked the MP to stay away from the area for 14 days to allow police complete investigations into the incident.

State counsel Claire Muriithi had asked the court to have the MP held for the same period so as not to interfere with the investigations.

Ms Muriithi who relied on an affidavit sworn by Investigating Officer Nick Odhiambo said Igembe South was tense and the MP needed to be kept in custody for peace.

But the defence claimed the MP faced mere misdemeanour for which no reason to continue keeping him in custody could be advance.

"The charges the MP is facing are serious with count one attracting a fine of up to Sh1 million or a 10 year jail term," said the magistrate in her ruling.

She released the MP on a Sh1 million bond with one surety or Sh500,000 bond.

Hearing of the case will be on February 26 with a mention on December 6.