Relief for Gov Samboja as court strikes out EACC petition on academic qualifications

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The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commision has suffered a blow after the High Court struck out its petition against Taita Taveta Governor Granton Samboja over his academic qualifications.

Justice James Makau upheld Samboja’s preliminary objection against the commision and struck out the EACC petition over lack of jurisdiction.

“The upshot is that Samboja’s preliminary objection dated 24th January 2018 is meritorious and the same is upheld. The Petitioner’s petition is struck out for want of jurisdiction with cost,” ruled the judge.

EACC was seeking to invite the court to interrogate the eligibility and registration of Granton Samboja as a gubernatorial candidate.

The judge further found that the commission’s failure to institute the petition before the election court is a fundamental omission which goes to the route of the petition and which cannot be allowed to stand as the court lacked jurisdiction to hear and determine the case.

He noted that although there are serious aspersions on the qualifications of Samboja, it is common knowledge that he has not been charged with any offence related to uttering false documents or fraudulent conduct.

“Such aspersions, however strong they may be, do not amount to any finding of the court of law or a quasi-judicial body,” added the judge.

Justice Makau also noted that it was of importance and concern that the veracity of the documents presented by Samboja to the commission are yet to be conclusively interrogated and determined.