Activist Okiya Omtatah has filed a petition in court challenging the academic credentials of Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja.
According to Omtatath, in mid-2017, the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) informed IEBC that Samboja holds fake academic certificates. He wants the court to quash the said documents and declare the governor unfit to hold office.
He argues that the petition is about implementing and defending the 2010 constitution.
“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,” court papers read.
“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,” Omtatah adds.
The activist also argues that individuals employed based on fake academic credentials contribute to the slowing down of a country’s or a company’s development because they are ill-equipped for the work they are hired to do.
“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 claims.
He adds that a fake educational certificate is a serious matter that warrants the intervention of the court to protect the public.
Omtatah’s petition comes barely a week after the High Court dismissed a similar application by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).
Justice James Makau threw out the petition saying the court has no authority to rule on the matter.
EACC’s lawyer Jacky Kibogy said she is seeking instructions to file an appeal.