Voters question Lagdera MP parliamentary aspirant's nationality, eligibility to hold public office

Lagdera MP Abdulqani Ibrahim. [Courtesy, Facebook]

The nationality of an MP aspirant nominated by UDA to vie in Lagdera Constituency in the last general election has been questioned before a court.

Four voters in the case filed before High Court judge Mugure Thande said Lagdera MP Abdulqani Ibrahim is from Somalia and therefore was not eligible to vie or contest for an elective seat in Kenya.

Ahmed Daib, Aden Mohamed, Abdirazak Zayid, and Mohamed Noor sued the MP, the Ethic and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), the Director of Immigration Services, the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government and Registrar of Persons questioning how he was cleared to vie.

Through their lawyer Mwangi Ndegwa, the petitioners say Ibrahim has a Kenyan identification card and a British passport which indicates he was born in Yontoi, Kismayo, Somalia, on December 15, 1978.

However, a copy of the national ID attached to the particulars of the case shows his place of birth was in Garissa. It also indicates that it was issued on August 23, 2016. The date of birth indicated on the copy of the ID is December 15, 1978.

Mwangi said Kenya’s sovereignty and national security have been entrusted to a ­­­­­­­­foreign national. According to him, Ibrahim’s participation in the last year’s General Election was a violation of the constitution.

“The first respondent (Ibrahim) holds Kenyan citizenship while still holding British citizenship while his place of origin is the Republic of Somalia,” Mwangi argued, saying the court should bar him from leaving the country. 

He added: ”The first respondent remains a threat to national security when the status of his purported Kenyan citizenship is misused to undermine the establishment of the pillars of governance under the constitution.”

The lawyer asserted that Ibrahim is a Somali citizen by birth while he is a British national by registration. According to Mwangi, the duo citizenship status bars him from contesting or holding any public office in the country.

At the same time, the lawyer was of the view that election laws and the constitution bar any person who has not been a Kenyan citizen for at least 10 years. 

“The petitioners aver that by virtue of the first respondent holding a British citizenship with an origin from the Republic of Somalia while purporting to hold a Kenyan citizenship by birth is a violation of the Constitution of Kenya,” he said.

In his affidavit supporting the case, Daib stated Ibrahim was cleared by the IEBC to vie but his identity is in doubt.

According to him, the government agencies failed in their work for clearing the lawmaker without ascertaining whether he qualified to vie or not. He argued that the court should bar the MP from holding any state office.

By David Ndii 2 hrs ago
David Ndii: In the law of one price, market cannot solve housing problem
Premium Why a bankrupt government once scrapped income tax
Premium Why the Finance Bill will hurt fledgling middle class the most
Premium Kericho tea wars: How politicians pitted locals against multinational