IEBC gives final verdict on Sakaja's degree and fate in August elections

DCI opened a probe into Sakaja's degree certificate on Saturday

Johnson Sakaja

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja has been cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to contest for the county’s gubernatorial seat.

In its ruling, the IEBC Disputes Tribunal dismissed a petition challenging his clearance based on the validity of his university degree that has been a subject of controversy.

The tribunal noted that the electoral body is not tasked with investigating the authenticity of academic documents, noting that it lacks the capacity and instruments to do so.

It further noted that investigations should be carried out by the criminal investigative agencies and the courts.

"The returning officer and his agents are not legally empowered and thus lack requisite jurisdiction to go beyond the provisions of Regulation 47 of the Elections General Regulation (2012) in authenticating a degree certificate.

"The Second respondent has no jurisdiction to investigate or otherwise ascertain the authenticity of academic certificates presented to it by political party aspirants beyond the Regulation 47. Our final order is this complaint be hereby dismissed with no cost," noted the tribunal.

Despite the greenlight, the lawmaker still has his degree certificate under investigation.

Sakaja not off the hook yet

Sakaja has been embroiled in a bitter fight to clear his name from fake degree allegations with the Commission for University Education (CUE) revoking his degree.

According to CUE, the current senator of Nairobi county doesn’t not have the required academic qualifications to vie for governor.

In a press conference on Friday, June 17, CUE boss, Professor Chacha Nyaigotti revealed that the commission had already received complaints from voters in regards to the eligibility of his academic papers.

“The commission received complaints from members of the public and civil society casting doubts on the authenticity of the degree certificate submitted to CUE by Hon. Sakaja. The gravity of the matters raised, made the Commission to revoke its decision to recognize the degree qualification in Kenya pending further investigations in liaison with other relevant investigative agencies,” Prof Nyaigotti told the Nation Newspaper.

“Further, the Commission has invited Hon. Sakaja to attend a meeting on Monday, 20th June 2022 at 10.00 a.m. in order to provide further information that can aid in the investigations,” the CUE boss said.

His woes deepened after the National Police Service directed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to launch a probe into the matter.

Sakaja however maintains that President Uhuru Kenyatta is behind his woes.

Items CUE wants from Sakaja

Chacha explained that despite Team University in Uganda being a recognised institution, the number of complaints received by CUE calls for further probe and the commission had consequently revoked Sakaja’s degree and asked him to present several items.

CUE asked the Nairobi county gubernatorial aspirant has been requested to present the below items to the commission.

1. His application for the course

2. Letter of admission from the University

3. Booklet that has his name on it

4. Evidence of registration including Student ID

5. Credit Accumulation and Transfer System (ATS)

6. Course description for the Bachelor of Science in Management (External)

7. Course Units taken

8. Transcripts

9. Examinations schedules

10. Receipts for the application fees, Tuition fees, Graduation and convocation, Names of lecturers that taught him some of the courses, any communication with the university staff (academic and administrative) regarding his course in the university, Graduation Photo while wearing the gown and Evidence of the requisite credit hours covered.

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