Jinja South East Member of Parliament (MP) aspirant, Mr Nathan Igeme Nabeta, has been sued for the third time over lack of academic papers.
Mr Thomas Ngobi, who lost to Mr Igeme in the September 4 National Resistance Movement (NRM) primaries, also sued the National Council for Higher Education (NHCE) and Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB) as first and second respondents respectively.
Mr Igeme, who is the former State Minister for Trade, is the official NRM party candidate for the Jinja South East Parliamentary seat, after defeating Pastor Ngobi and interim Jinja City Mayor, Mr Majid Batambuze. This is the third time Mr Igeme’s academic qualifications are being questioned.
Mr Paul Mwiru, who is also contesting for the same seat on the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) ticket, sued Mr Igeme in 2012 and court nullified his candidature on grounds of lack of academic papers.
Mr Mwiru again sued Mr Igeme in 2015, citing lack of requisite academic qualifications. After the ruling, Mr Igeme received a reprieve from the NCHE, contested in the Jinja East Parliamentary by-election, and lost to Mwiru.
In his suit before Jinja High Court dated October 8, 2020, Mr Ngobi, through his lawyers, Luganda, Ojok & CO Advocates, argues that Mr Igeme, who is the third respondent, does not possess the requisite academic qualification to contest for a parliamentary seat.
According to the suit, Mr Igeme used documents allegedly belonging to ‘Igeme Samson Nabeta’, ‘Nathan Samson Igeme’, and ‘Igeme Nathan S’ to be issued with a certificate of equivalence in the names of Igeme Nathan Nabeta Samson.
Mr Ngobi now wants the court to issue an order terminating the certificate of completion of former education of Advanced Level standard or its equivalent issued by the NHCE under serial number NCHE/PAR/043/2020 dated August 7, 2020, in consultation with the UNEB and Mr Igeme.
He also wants the court to issue an order restraining Mr Igeme from using the said certificate for nomination as an MP.The Electoral Commission Spokesperson, Mr Paul Bukenya, when contacted, said they will not nominate someone who doesn’t qualify.
Mr Igeme’s lawyer, Kassim Kigongo, said the issue of taking Igeme to court over the discrepancy in names does not hold water.
“I assure Igeme’s supporters that they should not worry about their candidate being taken to court because it has been happening; even Mr Mwiru did it but he has been winning the cases because his academic papers are genuine,’’ he said. Jinja High Court Judge, Jeanne Rwakakoko, has set October 15 as the date to start hearing the case.