After a short stint of push and pull over the authenticity of Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja’s degree from Team University in Uganda, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission – IEBC disputes tribunal has eventually given the senator a new lease of life in politics after clearing him and throwing away the case filed against him.
The tribunal under the chairmanship of George Murugu dismissed the petition with no costs arguing that the commission has no jurisdiction of determining and investigating the authenticity of academic documents from different educational institutions.
Mr. Murugu while reading the ruling said that the IEBC returning officer who cleared Sakaja to run for the seat of governor in Nairobi did his work in accordance with the electoral laws.
“The committee hereby establishes that IEBC has no mandate to investigate and authenticate the validity of any education document hence finds this case with no merit and dismisses it with no orders for costs,” said the tribunal chairman.
He further noted that the mandate of investigating any cases of forging academic documents lies in the hands of the office of the director of public prosecution ODPP and other institutions such as the police.
The tribunal pointed out that despite allegations against the senator being in public domain, the petitioner did not prove before the tribunal that there is any case reported to have been filed against senator Sakaja over forgery of documents.
Speaking to journalists after being cleared Sakaja assured his supporters in Nairobi that the battle is still on and they are now strong and ready to face the opponents in the August 9th elections urging the opponents to rely on their manifesto and the things they want to do for the over 2.5m Nairobians other than depending on other forces including ‘deep state’ among others.
“I know millions of Nairobians were worried and in dilemma not sure if we could reach the ballot but I can now assure them that we have been cleared and we are ready for the battle,” said Sakaja.
Sakaja who is vying on a United Democratic Movement – UDA will now face Azimio’s gubernatorial candidate Polycarp Igathe who is vying under the Jubilee ticket.
At the same time the tribunal dismissed a case filed against Wiper Party’s Machakos gubernatorial candidate Wavinya Ndeti under the same circumstances of not having a valid degree.
The tribunal pointed out that IEBC has no power and capacity to investigate any academic document but the returning officer only clears or rejects such a document on face value whereby he uses his or her discretion to make a decision as he sees the document presented to them.
Wavinya who is said to have gotten a masters degree in 1992 before getting an undergraduate degree in 1995 and later a diploma in 1998 in a University in England is now breathing fire and warning her opponents that she will floor them in the earliest opportunity at the gubernatorial duel on 9th of August 2022 in Machakos County.
“They were trying to discredit me saying that I am uneducated but the truth is that none of them is as educated as Wavinya Ndeti, I am asking them to bring on another issue like they brought this one that has been dismissed. I am assuring them that I will floor them on August 9th and none of them will stand to face me,” said Wavinya.
The tribunal sittings continue tomorrow Monday whereby other elections nominations disputes including that of former Nairobi governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko who wants to be governor of Mombasa will be dispensed.