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Tribunal voids Ajaokuta population figure

12 April 2013, 15:14

Abuja - The Census Tribunal on Friday voided the 2006 population figure of Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi declared by the National Population Commission (NPC).

The Census Tribunal `B’ was chaired by Mrs Mary Obegolu.

Obegolu said that the tribunal based its judgment on the inability of the respondent to give concrete evidence to buttress claim by the complainant of non enumeration of some localities in the council.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the complainant had earlier filed a petition against the respondent.

The complainant alleged that 23 out of the 678 Enumeration Areas (EAs) of the council were not captured during the exercise.

According to the complainant, the respondent failed to record the population figure of some enumeration areas and that the declared figure is based on projection and not actual headcount.

The lead judgment read by Mohammed Mohammed, a member of the tribunal, said that the respondent failed to give concrete evidence to back up its claim of enumeration of the contested areas.

Mohammed said that instead of the respondent to give account of the 23 EAs, it claimed that the entire council was enumerated, adding that the contested EAs did not exist.

According to him, the respondent failed to discharge the burden of proof on preponderance of evidence.

He said that the complainant had established his case on the balance of probabilities and the ``burden of proof not being static and now shifted from one party to the other’’.

``The respondent failed to convince the tribunal that the contested enumeration areas were omitted by them during the 2006 exercise.

``The respondent also claims that no enumeration areas were left uncovered and that all forms used in the whole area were sent to data base.

``The tribunal therefore declared the population figure of 122 432 as declared by the respondent null and void,’’ Mohammed said.



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