18 May 2018

Kenya: Court Orders UON to Award Senator Linturi Degree

Nairobi — The High Court has ordered the University of Nairobi (UoN) to award Meru Senator Mithika Linturi a Bachelor of Laws degree after faulting the institution for failing to follow due process in nullifying his academic certificate.

In a decision rendered on Friday, the court further ordered the university to reinstate Lintutri's name in the December 22, 2017 graduation list from which his name was struck off over claims that he had falsified his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) to secure admission at the institution.

In the ruling delivered by Justice John Mativo on behalf of Justice George Odunga, UoN was also ordered to readmit the senator into the university to pursue his Master of Laws for the academic year 2017/18 unless his studies are lawfully terminated.

"A declaration is hereby issued that the actions by UoN of deregistering and discontinuing the Petitioner (Linturi) from programmes and studies at the university and stopping the Petitioner from participating in the graduation ceremony held on 22nd December 2017 are unconstitutional, illegal, unreasonable, irrational, and procedurally unfair," Justice Matovo declared.

An order was also issued prohibiting the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) from probing Linturi's integrity verification report resulting from claims he had falsified his academic certificates for purposes of clearance to run for the elective seat.

The court found UoN EACC's actions against Linturi to have been "unconstitutional, illegal, unreasonable, irrational, oppressive, and procedurally unfair.

Linturi told the High Court through lawyer Tom Ojienda that UoN had taken the decision to revoke his degree and deregister him from a Masters program without according him an opportunity to defend himself.

At the time Linturi's degree was revoked a senior official at the Ministry of Education confirmed to Capital FM News that the decision had been taken following an investigation was jointly undertaken with the Commission for University Education (CUE) following complaints from several unnamed people.

UoN was on record as having written to the EACC on May 30, 2017, denying that Linturi had graduated from the School of Business in 2001.

Responding to a letter from the EACC which had been written on May 24, Evanson Mbuva, a Senior Assistant Registrar (Examination) at the university said Linturi had not registered for a Bachelor of Commerce.

On November 22, the High Court sitting in Meru ordered the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to furnish a petitioner challenging Linturi's victory in the August 8 General Election with the Senator's academic papers outlining his qualifications.

Judge Ann Ong'injo ordered IEBC's County Manager (Meru) Samuel Gichichi to make available the certificates after a successful application by lawyer Mugambi Imanyara - the petitioner.

While issuing the order, Judge Ong'injo dismissed submissions by Linturi's lawyer that the application would offend the principle of sub-judice in relation to a separate case the EACC had filed against the lawmaker.

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