On Monday, a 5-judge bench ruling presided by Justice Joel Ngugi stopped the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from conducting a referendum on the Building Bridges Initiative Bill (BBI).
The order would stand pending hearing and determination of seven consolidated petitions challenging the legality of the BBI.
Addressing the issue today, ODM leader Raila Odinga has said that they are not worried about the court’s decision as it is aware of how urgent the matter is.
Speaking while meeting 34 chairmen of both ODM and Jubilee parties drawn from 17 Nairobi constituencies, the former Prime Minister said that the court knows the urgency of BBI hence the process of debating it in the county assemblies will not be affected.
“We are not worried, the courts also know the urgency of the matter. By the time the matter will be coming up to the IEBC, they shall have resolved the matter,” Raila said.
Raila added that there is a joint force from both the ODM and Jubilee Parties that will ensure the BBI passes through when subjected to a vote.
“We have resolved to move together as Jubilee and ODM and we shall have other parties on board,” Raila said.
Odinga was accompanied by MPs Simba Arati, George Aladwa and ODM Executive Director Oduor Ong’wen.
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Last month, IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati announced that a total of 1.14 million signatures supporting the BBI had been verified.
This is out of the 4.4 million signatures that were submitted to the electoral body by the BBI secretariat on December 10, 2020.
With the verification of the one million signatures required to initiate the process of amending the Constitution through a popular initiative, the BBI Bill is now set to be tabled in all the 47 County Assemblies for debate.
Chebukati noted that the County Assemblies have three months (90 days) to consider the Bill.
According to Article 257 (7) of the 2010 Constitution, If a county assembly approves the draft Bill, the speaker of the county assembly shall deliver a copy of the draft Bill jointly to the Speakers of the two Houses of Parliament, with a certificate that the county assembly has approved it.
The Constitution further stipulates that If a draft Bill is approved by a majority of the county assemblies, it shall be introduced in Parliament without delay.