The court has ordered IEBC and speakers of Parliament of Kenya to appear, within four days, in a suit challenging BBI signature verification, after a no-show.

Proponents of BBI collected signatures that they said totalled 4.4 million and presented to the Independent, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC). They want to change the constitution through the Constitution of Kenya (Amendment) Bill, 2020. To do this, they must get an endorsement, through signing, from at least one million registered voters.

But MUHURI sued to stop IEBC from verifying and certifying these signatures and presenting the Bill to the county assemblies. The electoral body had admitted to MUHURI it lacked a database of specimen signatures of registered voters, which, legally, should be used for verification.

And when the case came up January 14, IEBC and speakers of the Senate and National Assembly–respondents–were a no-show, despite MUHURI lawyer, Caroline Kituku, serving them.

Judge Erick Ogolla, however, did not grant an order to stop IEBC from verifying the signatures. Sitting in Mombasa, Ogolla insisted on hearing IEBC first.

The case pushes for a comprehensive legal framework, which is lacking, that will guide the verification and certification process.

Meantime, the court allowed BBI taskforce to enjoined as an interested party.

Ogoall set the next hearing to be on January 25.

Read the petition here.

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