Wajir governor wants Maraga to quash ouster

Embattled Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi yesterday asked the Supreme Court to quash his ouster by the Court of Appeal on April 20, and maintained that he had the required academic qualifications to run for the post.

The aggrieved politician said he was validly nominated and cleared by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and there was no basis for the High Court to have interrogated his education credentials.

Abdi, through lawyers Fred Ngatia and Tom Macharia, said he possesses a degree certificate from Kampala University and a confirmation by the Commission for University Education (CUE) to justify his participation in the governor’s poll last year.

Lawyers Kamau Karori and Mahat Somane, for IEBC, told the seven-judge Bench chaired by Chief Justice David Maraga that nobody had complained about Abdi’s qualifications.  Only IEBC was responsible for resolution of all pre-election disputes and the High Court had no power to intervene, they said.

However, Senior Counsel Ahmednassir Abdullahi, representing former Governor Ahmed Abdullahi, claimed Ugandan Immigration authorities had confirmed that Abdi never travelled to Kampala between 2009 and 2012.

All the documents purporting to justify his studies in the private university were forgeries, he said. Ahmednassir said Abdi did not offer himself for cross-examination during the hearing of the election petition and his claims of qualification remained unsupported.

Senior Counsel and Siaya Senator James Orengo, assisted by lawyer Ombati Omwanza, said the Governor had not produced any records to support his assertions that he possessed a university degree.

The Court dismissed an application by Senior Counsel Tom Ojienda to introduce two affidavits sworn by two senior officials of Kampala University concerning Abdi’s claims of having studied and graduated from the institution. Ahmednassir and the IEBC had strongly opposed the admission of the affidavits claiming they were prejudicial to the former Governor.

Abdi claims he was denied a fair trial by Justices Philip Waki, Asike-Makhandia and Patrick Kiage, who confirmed the January 12 findings by High Court Judge Alfred Mabeya that the politician did not qualify to participate in the governor’s election for lack of a university degree certificate.

 The Appellate Judges said there was compelling evidence to Mabeya’s findings that Abdi was not legally cleared to vie for the position.

The Supreme Court reserved its judgment until further notice.

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