Embattled Turkana governor Jeremiah Ekamais Lomorukai Napotikan who the anti-graft body had accused of forging a degree and diploma certificates purported to have been issued by the Kenya Methodist University (KEMU) is in the spotlight again following reports that he has contracted someone to attend classes on his behalf at the St. Paul’s University, The Informer Media Group can authoritatively reveal.
Preliminary investigations indicate the governor is pursuing a Diploma in Conflict Resolution at the university.
The probe has also revealed an intricate scheme, by one of the governor’s aides, that has also seen the governor’s son also recruit someone to attend classes for him at the same Kenya Methodist University.
According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) the son, Ekamais Ewesit Lavish, is also pursuing a Diploma in International Relations and his student registration number is indicated as BIR-0-2116-1/2022.
“It is at the same university that the father (governor) is said to have obtained a fake degree. It has also been established that he does not attend classes and has tasked another person to attend on his behalf.,” the preliminary report indicates.
Detectives are also investigating one of the aides who is not only alleged to be the planner but also a beneficiary of such fraudulent schemes.
The aide contracted another person to sit for his 2023 Certified Public Accountants (CPA) Part 1 exams at the Multi-Media University College in Rongai.
The exams were held between Monday August 21 and Thursday August 24, according to the preliminary report.
Another investigation by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) had also revealed that governor Lomorukai had forged a degree and diploma certificates purported to have been issued by the Kenya Methodist University (KEMU).
He is said to have used the alleged forged papers to seek clearance to successfully contest the Turkana gubernatorial seat.
When contacted by The Informer Media Group for comment, Lomokurai did not respond to questionnaire sent via official mail or short text messages sent to him.
Also, St. Pauls University did not respond to our queries.
According to an affidavit filed in court by EACC investigator Celestine Owiti, investigations against the governor were necessitated by the complaint lodged on January 27, 2017, alleging that the governor irregularly and fraudulently acquired a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Counselling from the KEMU.
The report further revealed that Governor Lomorukai who sat for the 1994 KCSE examination in Lodwar High School and attained a C- (Minus) was not eligible to join the university for an undergraduate course.
When the said complaint was lodged at the EACC, Lomorukai was a Member of the County Assembly (MCA) of Turkana and was vying for the position of Member of Parliament for Loima Constituency which he later won.
The EACC probe also revealed that the governor had applied for a pre-university programme at KEMU in January 2012 and soon thereafter and before completing the pre-university programme, he purported to have applied for a diploma in counselling in the same year.
According to the EACC, there are no records of governor Lomorukai registering for the diploma course at KEMU.
“Governor Lomorukai was not eligible to undertake an undergraduate course or be awarded a Degree certificate without first completing the University Programme and Diploma in counselling.” Investigating Officer Owiti told the court.
The investigations established that the county boss had fraudulently obtained a degree certificate through the falsification and alterations of records at KEMU.
“The fraudulently acquired certificate was used by Lomorukai on March 6, 2017, in his self-declaration form that was used in securing his clearance from IEBC when he was vying for the position of Member of County Assembly (MCA).” EACC stated.
Following the investigation, the EACC vide a letter dated November 23, 2021, forwarded a report to the DPP with recommendations that governor Lomorukai be charged with forgery and uttering a false document.
The DPP later okayed that the governor to be arrested and charged with the alleged offence of forgery.
Governor Lomorukai was among the 241 candidates flagged by the EACC as having outstanding integrity issues prior to the August 9, 2022 elections and their names submitted to the IEBC.
He went to court to challenge his prosecution but suffered a blow after a High Court in Eldoret dismissed his bid to stop EACC from arresting him over the alleged fake degree.
In the orders issued by Justice Reuben Nyakundi, the court dismissed the governor’s application saying he failed to provide evidence to support his allegations of constant calls and threats from the police.
He stated that notwithstanding the allegations, the powers conferred upon the respondents which are the DPP, EACC and Inspector General of Police have not been abused or used mala-fides.
“The Petitioner has failed to demonstrate that the respondents have breached his fundamental rights to freedoms or that there exists any threat of his rights to warrant the grant of anticipatory bail. The Petition has no merit and I accordingly dismissed it.” The orders read in part.