There will be a new headcount to determine the population of Nko Community in Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River.
A census tribunal sitting in Abuja on Monday ordered the National Population Commission, NPC, to conduct fresh headcount in Nko Community in Yakurr Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The Tribunal `A’ presided over by its chairman, Abraham Yisa, gave the directive while delivering judgment in a petition filed by the local government against the NPC regarding the 2006 population census.
The local government had filed the petition disputing the population figure of 5,383 recorded for the community during the 2006 census, as against the figure of over 12,690 recorded during a similar exercise earlier in 1991.
According to the Chairman of the tribunal, since there has not been any reported breakout of war or epidemic that would have caused the massive decline, there is no reason why the population of the area could drop so drastically.
Mr. Yisa attributed the decision of the court to failure of the NPC to furnish the authorities of the local government with its locality figure in spite of its request for them.
The chairman said the local government had submitted its petition based on its present demographics, and data that show that Nko community’s 2006 result should reasonably be beyond the 1991 figure.
He said the local government had earlier written NPC requesting for the figure but the NPC failed to produce it.
Mr. Yisa, who made reference to the Evidence Act, stressed that the local government 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”.
Mr. Yisa said the tribunal found that the complainant had proved its case on preponderance of evidence and therefore entered judgement in favour of the complainant and “orders the 1st respondent to carry out the recount in Nko community.”