The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) disputes tribunal has dismissed a petition seeking to bar Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja from vying for the Nairobi Governor seat over the validity of his degree.
In a ruling delivered on Sunday, the IEBC said that it does not have the jurisdiction to authenticate academic papers.
The electoral body said it lacks legal mandate to investigate and authentic validity of academic credentials for any candidate seeking office in the August General Election.
The Commission for University Education (CUE) on Wednesday last week revoked the recognition of Sakaja’s Bachelor of Science in Management Degree from Uganda’s Team University, saying it will open a probe into the validity of the papers the Senator presented before the IEBC for clearance to run.
The High Court has however since suspended CUE’s decision pending hearing and determination of his case on Sunday.
Judge Jairus Ngaah, in his ruling, also prohibited IEBC from striking Sakaja from its list of candidates cleared to run for the Nairobi Governor’s seat.
CUE on Friday sought at least 10 documents from the sitting Nairobi Senator as confirmation that he attended Team University, before clearing him to vie in the upcoming August elections.
CUE Chairperson Chacha Nyaigotti said the commission had opened a probe into the authenticity of Sakaja’s degree following concerns raised by members of the public.
Some of the documents required from Sakaja include: an application letter for the course he took at the university, his letter of admission, evidence of registration, official transcripts, examination schedules and a graduation booklet with his name on it among other requirements.
Sakaja however slammed the commission over the new conditions alleging discrimination as he said no other candidate cleared by IEBC was asked to submit the exact academic qualifications as him.
According to the legislator, the commission erred in revoking his university degree without completing necessary investigations into the matter, a move he insists is politically motivated.
“The question we are asking is, in this country are you guilty until proven innocent or vice versa? You cannot revoke and then investigate, you investigate and then if you need to, you revoke. When I submitted my documents on June 6, 2022 none of those questions were asked of me but today there are requirements,” said Sakaja in a Friday night presser.