Cross-River - A census tribunal sitting in Abuja on Monday ordered the National Population Commission (NPC) to do a recount of Nko Community in Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River.
The Tribunal `A’ chairman, Mr Abraham Yisa, gave the directive while delivering judgment in a petition filed by the council against the commission regarding the 2006 population census.
The council filed the petition disputing the population figure of 5,383 recorded for the community in the 2006 census, against the 12,690 figure in 1991, saying there has not been a reported war or epidemic that would have caused the decline.
Yisa attributed the decision of the court to failure of the 1st respondent (NPC) to furnish the complainant with its locality figure in spite of its request for them.
The chairman said the complainant submitted that based on its present demographics, Nko community’s 2006 result should reasonably be beyond the 1991 figure.
He said the council had earlier written NPC requesting for the figure but the NPC failed to produced it.
Yisa, who made reference to the Evidence Act, stressed that the council needed the figure to enable it prove its case before the tribunal.
``The 1st Respondent (NPC) wrote an official letter directing the complainant to Government Notice No 2, which did not contain the information regarding the locality result of Yakurr Local government Area for 2006 Census.
``Yet, the same 1st Respondent affirmatively states in its reply and witness deposition that the said locality result has not been released, which is not proper.
``He that comes to equity needs to wash his hands first; this, the 1st respondent failed to do.
``The Tribunal accepts without reservation the argument of the complainant that section 167 (d) Evidence Act applies in this case, that is to say that the evidence which could be and is not produced, would if produced, be unfavourable to the person who withholds it.’’
Yisa said the tribunal found that the complainant had proved its case on preponderance of evidence and therefore entered judgment in favour of the complainant and ``orders the 1st respondent to carryout recount in Nko community’’.