Dennis Wahome has moved to court to block the gubernatorial bid of United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate Johnson Sakaja in the August 9 General Election.
The petitioner wants the High Court to issue conservatory orders to block the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from printing the ballot papers for Nairobi County until the case is heard and determined.
“THAT pending the hearing and determination of the Petition, this Honourable Court be pleased to grant a conservatory order restraining the 1st Respondent from printing ballot papers for the position of county Governor, Nairobi City County in the general elections scheduled for 9th August 2022,” read the court papers.
Wahome had filed a similar case at the Independent Disputes Resolutions Committee (IDRC) challenging his clearance to run for office on grounds that his academic papers presented for clearance are fake, days after he was cleared by the electoral commission.
The Committee dismissed the petition citing a lack of jurisdiction to probe his academic credentials as the Commission on University Education (CUE) had already validated his degree.
“By finding that the 3rd respondent was not obliged to conduct an enquiry so as to ascertain the authenticity of the 4th respondent degree, the 2nd respondent enabled the 1st and 3rd respondent to conduct the nominations of the 4th respondent in a manner that fell below the threshold for the conduct of the elections set out in Article 81 of the constitution,” read the court papers.
Wahome argues that if the petition is not heard and determined with urgency then Sakaja will be on the ballot which according to his petition is a gross violation of the constitution.
“If this Petition is not certified urgent and determined forthwith, there is a danger that the 1st Respondent shall proceed to include the 4th Respondent’s name on the ballot papers for the county Governor election prior to the determination of the issues raised herein, which inclusion would be gravely prejudicial to the Petitioner and the citizens of Nairobi City County as the 4th Respondent is a legally and constitutionally unqualified person,” read the petition.
The petitioner argues that if Sakaja is allowed on the ballot there it would be an exercise in futility and a waste of taxpayers’ money as he holds no academic qualifications.
“The impugned decision is fundamentally flawed in light of the fact that the 4th Respondent does not possess a university degree as required by section 22 (2) of the Elections Act, hence is a legally and constitutionally unqualified person,” read the petition.
Sakaja attached his degree certificate from Team University and a letter from the Executive Director informing that he enrolled for a Bachelor of Science in Management as a student in Distance Learning and graduated on October 21, 2016.
IEBC made the decision even as CUE Chairperson Prof Chacha Nyaigotti requested Sakaja to submit a student ID, application letter to join the university, transcripts and a graduation booklet among a set of other requirements on Monday, June 20 at 10:00 am.
Prof Nyaigotti maintained that the academic credentials of the senator remain revoked dismissing validation by CUE Chief Executive Officer Prof. Mwenda Ntarangwi.
“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 revoke its decision to recognize the degree qualification in Kenya pending further investigations in liaison with other relevant investigative agencies,” Prof Nyaigotti said.