22 November 2017

Kenya: Linturi Told to Produce Academic Papers in Election Petition

Meru Senator Mithika Linturi has suffered a blow after the High Court ordered IEBC to furnish a petitioner with certified copies of his academic certificates.

Meru High Court Judge Ann Ong'injo ordered the electoral commission and county returning officer Samuel Gichichi to furnish the petitioner with self-declaration forms and certified copies of the senator's academic qualifications.

The court made the ruling following an application by the petitioner, Mugambi Imanyara, who is contesting Mr Linturi's election.

Mr Imanyara, through his lawyers James Odour and Martin Gitonga, had told the court that the senator's declaration forms and academic papers were crucial in the hearing.

The hearing of the case will begin on December 11.


They made the application on October 13 that they be issued with the senator's university degree certificate.

Mr Gitonga had said the senator was not validly elected since he was not qualified, saying he had falsified documents which he submitted to the IEBC in 2013 and 2017 indicating that he had a degree in commerce.

The senator through his lawyer, Prof Tom Ojienda, objected to the application saying the court lacks the jurisdiction to hear it.

Mr Ojienda argued that the court lacks jurisdiction to order investigations and determine the alleged criminal liability adding that if the court grants the orders, it would be usurping the role of the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.

The court noted that it was necessary for the IEBC and Mr Gichichi to furnish the particulars pursuant to rule 15(1) (e) of the Elections Petition Rules, 2017.


"I do find that the submission that the applications offends the principle of sub judice in relation to a case filed by EACC against Mr Linturi is misconceived.

"Whether the petitioner wants to use certified copies of academic certificates to prove criminal liability is a matter that should be dealt with during the hearing," the judge ruled.

She added, "It will be pre-emptive to decide that the petitioner will be seeking this court to take over the investigation and prosecution of Mr Linturi without interrogating the petitioner during his testimonies in court."

On June 30, the Senator lost his bid to stop EACC from summoning him over alleged false self-declaration forms he issued to IEBC in 2013.


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