Activist Okiya Omtatah has launched a fresh bid to have Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja declared unfit to hold the office over lack of academic qualifications.
This comes barely a week after the High Court dismissed a similar application over lack of jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter.
In the new application, Omtatah wants the court to quash the governor’s academic documents including a degree certificate which he claims are fake.
A degree certificate is one of the mandatory documents one is required to have before being cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to run for governor in Kenya.
The renowned activist argues that in mid-2017 the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) informed IEBC that the governor holds fake academic certificates hence should not be allowed to continue holding the position.
“Unless this case is urgently heard and determined, the applicant and the people of Kenya will suffer a great loss and damage if the respondent continued using the fake certificates in violation of the constitution and national legislation,” reads court papers.
“Among the issues the petitioner learned are that, in a report forwarded on 30th May, 2017 to the Chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission, on integrity of candidates seeking elective positions in the 2017 general elections, the EACC stated that Granton Graham Samboja had falsified a certificate, diploma certificate, degree certificate, and KCSE result slip and presented forged certificates for enrolment for a master’s program at Kenyatta University.”
He further argues that individuals employed with fake academic documents slow down the country’s development.
“They are also a danger to the general public in many ways, including that they allow quacks to perform tasks/duties they are not qualified to do, and they affect the morale of learners, especially the youth, as they are a disincentive as there is no point for one to struggle and work hard to acquire certifications which can simply be scammed,” Omtatah argues.
Governor Samboja has been under investigations by EACC for years now over questionable academic qualifications.
In another case touching on the governor’s academic qualification, a voter, Armstrong Mwandoo Kiwoi, filed a petition challenging Samboja’s 2017 poll victory.
In the petition, the voter claimed that the governor uttered false documents from Kenyatta University, including a degree certificate.
Also sued was IEBC which the voter accused of accepting Samboja’s “fake” degree.
As part of its investigations, EACC wrote to Kenyatta University requesting information on three certificates, including a diploma and degree that the governor claims he holds lawfully.
In its response, the university, through its legal officer Aaron Tanui, declared that the certificates were fake.
Tanui said despite the alleged forgery Samboja still tried to gain admission for masters of business administration studies in the same institution but was turned away.