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Fake Degree Saga: Turkana Governor Lomorukai Caught Cheating Again



Turkana governor Jeremiah Ekamais Lomorukai Napotikan

Drawn to scandals, the embattled Turkana governor Jeremiah Ekamais Lomorukai, who the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission (EACC) has accused of forging academic certificates once again finds himself in a now familiar bad book. Allegedly, he’s cheating his way to acquire a degree and has contracted someone to attend classes on his behalf should he fail to stop his case, we can reveal now.

The governor has been under fire for the last one year after EACC accused him of forging degree and diploma certificates purported to have been issued by the Kenya Methodist University (KEMU).

The governor is said to have used the alleged forged papers to seek clearance to successfully contest the gubernatorial seat which he won using an ODM ticket. He later jumped ship and started supporting the government in the hope of saving himself from prosecution.

Vitalis Ogombe (left) together with former Turkana East MP Ali Lokiru and governor Jeremiah Lomorukai. Ogombe who is the governor’s aide is being investigated for contracting fake students to study on behalf of Gov Lomorukai

But even as he waits for the courts and his new political allegiance to save him from the fake degree saga, the governor has invested into yet another fraudulent education scam that has caught the eye of investigators.

Apparently, the governor is undertaking a Diploma in Conflict Resolution at St Pauls University, Limuru. The only problem is – he does not attend classes or sit for exams. Someone else is doing it on his behalf using his full names Jeremiah Ekamais Lomorukai and ID number.

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The fake student who was contracted by one of the governors aides Vitalis Ogombe not only goes to class and sits exams but is also part of the Whatsapp group for the course.

According to detectives aware of the case, the same fake student is also attending classes on behalf of the governor’s son Ekamais Ewesit at the Kenya Methodist University.

The governor’s son is pursuing a diploma in International Relations at KEMU, the same university where his father is accused by EACC of having forged its certificates in order to run for office.

According to investigators the son’s registration number is BIR-0-2116-1/22. He however does not attend classes. Detectives say, the same person who is studying on behalf of his father is also doing it for him.

Apart from studying on behalf of the governor and his son, the fake student also managed to sit for the 2023 Certified Public Accountants (CPA) Part 1 exams at the Multi-Media University College on behalf of Vitalis Ogombe, the Turkana chief executive’s aide.

The exams were held between Monday August 21 and Thursday August 24, according to a preliminary report. Ogombe passed those exams which he did not sit for. He later graduated with a Masters Degree from the University of Nairobi on December 15.

Things however fell apart after the fake student felt that he was being taken for a ride and the promises he had been given by Ogombe were no longer being met despite him fulfilling his end of the bargain. He reported the matter to the police immediately after assisting Ogombe to pass exams he never sat for.

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However, when the matter was leaked to the press in November, the governor resorted to underhand tactics using lawyers to threaten journalists to back off the story. His lawyers wrote to media houses claiming he was being extorted. This forced journalists to back off for fear of losing their jobs.

At the moment detectives have now put Ogombe at the centre of the fake academic certificates surrounding Governor Lomorukai and have turned their guns on him. EACC which has been unable to prosecute the governor since 2022 believes it has now found a break through in the case.

In February last year, the High Court dismissed Governor Lomorukai’s bid to stop his arrest over the forgery of his academic papers.

Justice Reuben Nyakundi rejected the governor’s application for anticipatory bail pending the hearing and determination of the suit where he was challenging the decision by EACC to arrest him over allegations of a “fake degree”.

“The petitioner(governor Lomorukai) has failed to demonstrate that the EACC and the DPP, Inspector General of Police have breached his fundamental rights to freedom or that there exists any threat of his rights to warrant the grant of anticipatory bail. The petition has no merit and accordingly it is dismissed,” Justice Nyakundi ordered.

According to an affidavit filed in court by EACC investigator Celestine Owiti, investigations against the Governor were necessitated by the a complaint lodged on January 27, 2017 alleging that he had irregularly and fraudulently acquired a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Counseling from the Kenya Methodist University (KEMU).

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It was further reported that Lomorukai sat the 1994 KCSE examination in Lodwar High School and attained a C-(Minus), which made him ineligible to join university for an undergraduate course.

When the complaint was lodged at the EACC, Lomorukai was a Member of County Assembly of Turkana and was vying for the position of Member of Parliament for Loima Constituency which he won.

The commission further informed the court that the investigations into the matter established that the Lomurukai had applied for a pre-university programme at KEMU in January 2012, and soon after, before completing the pre-university programme, purported to have applied for a diploma in counseling in the same year.

EACC says KEMU has no records of Lomorukai registering for the diploma course.

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