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Rivals present submissions in battle for Wajir governor seat

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By SAM KIPLAGAT
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The Supreme Court will on Wednesday morning hear submissions from rival parties as Wajir Governor Mohamed Abdi Mohamud fights to keep his seat.

Mr Mohamud turned to the top court after the High Court and the Court of Appeal ruled that he was not validly elected because he did not have a degree.

The governor convinced the Supreme Court to allow him to prove that he has a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s degree from Kampala University.

His rival, former Governor Ahmed Abullahi wanted him cross-examined but the application was turned down by six Supreme Court judges.

Led by Chief Justice David Maraga, they ruled that evidence filed by way of affidavits was enough.

To support his claim, Mr Mohamud filed three affidavits, including two from university Vice-Chancellor Badru Dungu Katerega and Academic Registrar Hamza Segawa.

Mr Abdullahi filed five affidavits disputing claims that his rival is a graduate of the university.

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Justices Maraga, Mohamed Ibrahim, J.B. Ojwang’, Smokin Wanjala, Njoki Ndung’u and Isaac Lenaola allowed Mr Mohamud to table his academic certificates, stating that he was not given a fair hearing before the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Justice Alfred Mabeya nullified Mr Mohamud’s election saying he was not validly elected because he was not qualified to vie.

He moved to the appellate court but lost as judges agreed with Justice Mabeya, saying his election was a nullity on grounds that he did not meet the qualification for contesting.

Mr Abdullahi also tabled records from parliament, showing that Mr Mohamud appeared before the departmental committee on defence and foreign relations on September 3, 2014, while being vetted for the position of ambassador, and told the committee that he was yet to graduate.

“Accordingly, I make a finding that the first respondent did not have the academic qualifications to vie for the position of governor. He was therefore not legally cleared to vie for the position because he did not satisfy the provisions of the elections act,” Mr Mabeya ruled

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