Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) boss, George Kinoti, now says they are investigating whether Nairobi Senator, Johnson Sakaja, is part of an international crime syndicate following controversy surrounding his degree certificate.
Speaking to Nation Africa on Friday, June 17, Kinoti explained that the authorities are planning to lodge a legal suit against United Democratic Alliance (UDA) candidate for Nairobi gubernatorial seat if found culpable of forging his university papers.
“We will not surrender our capital city to frauds. We will involve all international agencies in investigating and prosecuting anyone involved in academic fraud,” Kinoti told Nation.
Sakaja on Wednesday, June 15, had released a statement affirming that he will not be intimidated to drop his gubernatorial bid even with arrest threats.
“Not even the threats to arrest me will dim our resolve to serve the people of Nairobi. The people of Nairobi have resoundingly rejected your [President Uhuru Kenyatta’s] project and are looking forward to electing their own,” Sakaja wrote on Facebook.
But according to DCI as quoted by Nation, they are investigating how Sakaja obtained his papers in Uganda and the involvement of top officials from the institutions in order to ascertain the degree’s authenticity.
According to the law, any person found guilty of forgery is liable to facing an imprisonment term of three years.
“Any person who forges any document or electronic record is guilty of an offence which unless otherwise stated, is a felony and he/she is liable unless owing to the circumstances of forgery or the nature of the thing forged some other punishment is provided, to imprisonment of three years,” Section 349 of the Penal Code stipulates.
To address the controversy surrounding his degree, a lobby group penned a letter to President Yoweri Museveni’s wife, Janet Museveni – who is also the Minister for Education – to ascertain if indeed Sakaja graduated from Team University.
In the letter, the lobby group urged the Ugandan Minister for Education to compel Team University to produce Sakaja’s admission letter, details of payment of school fees, and evidence that he attended classes.
“Our client is certain that your office will treat this matter with the importance and the urgency that it requires to safeguard the image of Uganda as a country that has traditionally offered education to many students in the East African Community,” the letter read.
This was after the Commission for University Education (CUE) revoked the recognition of Sakaja’s degree, a decision which was later dismissed by High Court Judge, Jarius Ngaah, who ordered the Commission to maintain its validity until further notice.
“An Order of Certiorari to remove into this Honorable Court and quash the decision of the Commission for University Education made on June 14, 2022, revoking the ‘recognition’ of the applicant’s degree from Team University, Kampala, Uganda.
“An Order of Mandamus compelling the respondent herein to maintain the validity of the applicant’s degree pending further directions by the Honorable Court,” the Judge ordered.
UDA party leader, Deputy President William Ruto also defended Sakaja’s academic papers linking his woes to some deep government forces.
Ruto instead dared the Azimio presidential candidate, Raila Odinga, to make public details of his academic papers, teachers, and classmates who studied with him.
“If there is anybody who has questionable papers is the Azimio presidential candidate. Before you tell us stories, let Raila tell us where he studied.
“Let him tell us who his classmates were and who taught him. You cannot fail to answer these questions and tell us that he has a degree. Which degree?” Raila wondered.
The Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chaired by, Wafula Chebukati, is yet to make the final decision on the issue.