The High Court has dismissed a petition by a voter seeking to stop the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from receiving and processing signatures from the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI).
Justice Jairus Ngaah ruled against an application by James Gitau who lives in the US had sought to stop IEBC and its agent from acting on the signatures that do not include those of voters from the diaspora.
The judges, however, recommended the matter to be filed as a substantive motion under judicial review orders which could have the IEBC compelled to conduct a signature drive for diaspora voters.
The suit was filed under a certificate of urgency by Gitau a Kenyan voter in the diaspora, who noted that those outside Kenya had been left out of the BBI signatures collection drive.
Justice Ngaah gave the petitioner seven days to serve all involved parties with the substantive motion and a further seven days for the respondents to file their responses.
This means that the electoral body can continue with the signature verification exercise and the planned referendum.
The judge said he was satisfied that the application merits grant of leave to the applicant to file a substantive motion for the following judicial review orders:
- An Order of Prohibition to restrain the Chairperson of the IEBC by himself, his agents, servants or otherwise howsoever from receiving the partially collected signatures that do not include the voters from the Diaspora.
- An Order of Prohibition to restrain the Chairperson of the IEBC (the 1st Respondent) by himself, his agents, servants or otherwise howsoever from commencing any verification of the partially collected signatures until it complies with the Court orders and avails the opportunity for voter registration of the Diaspora including the Applicant’s area in Dallas Fort Worth before holding any referendum or General Elections.
- An Order of Prohibition to restrain the 1st Respondent from holding any referenda until it complies with the Court Orders from the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
- An Order of Mandamus to compel both the Speakers of National Assembly and The Senate to confirm to the Court and the public the receipt of the periodic reports annually of the Diaspora Voter registrations from IEBC as contained in the Supreme Court Orders.
BBI secretariat is set to submit 3M signatures to IEBC for verification.