NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 19 — United Democratic Alliance (UDA) Nairobi gubernatorial contender Johnson Sakaja secured a a lifeline in his bid to ascend to City Hall after Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) dismissed a case against his clearance.

The IEBC Disputes Resolution Committee cited lack of jurisdiction to probe his academic credentials as the Commission on University Education had already validated his degree.

“The returning officer is not obliged to ascertain validity of a degree while clearing a candidate. The IEBC Dispute Resolution Committee has no jurisdiction to authenticate academic credentials,” read the ruling delivered on Sunday.

The committee also argued that the petitioner filed the petition outside the set timelines as the Returning Officer had already cleared the candidate.

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 on 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 to revoke its decision to recognize the degree qualification in Kenya pending further investigations in liaison with other relevant investigative agencies,” Prof Nyaigotti said.

By Fred Odanga Azelwa.