2006 Census: Tribunal voids Lagos Mainland population figure, orders recount

Lagos Governor, Babatunde Fashola

The tribunal said the evidence showed some residents of the council were not counted.

The Census Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Friday voided the 2006 enumeration figure declared by the National Population Commission (NPC) for Lagos Mainland Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The NPC had declared that the council’s population was 326,700 following the 2006 National Population and Household Census.

The council had earlier contested the figure before the Census Tribunal `C’, alleging that some of its areas were not enumerated. It also alleged that there were insufficient enumeration materials, and that the figure did not reflect the true population of the council.

The council had prayed the court to void the figure and to order for a recount of the areas not enumerated during the exercise.

Delivering judgment, Mary Obegolu, Tribunal Chairman, voided the figure based on the failure of the respondent to counter the allegation of non-enumeration by the complainant.

Mrs. Obegolu held that the complainant’s witnesses had testified that they were not enumerated, adding that the respondent had failed to contradict the claims. She said there were no material claims to buttress the commission’s claims on the enumeration of the entire areas.

She added that there was no material proof to NPC’s claim that there were sufficient materials and no locality was left out.

Mrs. Obegolu said the commission’s witness was not the right person to testify before the tribunal because he did not participate in the actual head-count. She, however, said the tribunal being a fact finding one, relied on material claims in determining cases before it, adding that the respondent did not tender any.

According to her, the burden of proof had shifted to the respondent.

“On the burden of proof, the complainant had proved its case on preponderance of evidence.

“The Tribunal is convinced and satisfied with the evidence of the complainant’s witnesses who testified they were not counted and the complaint succeeded.

“It, therefore, holds that the population figure of 326,700 declared by the respondent for the complainant was faulty, unsustainable and inaccurate, and accordingly declared the figure null and void,’’ she declared.

The tribunal had in previous rulings voided the results of Agege and Eti-Osa local government areas in Lagos. The Lagos State Government had, after the census, voided the over 9 million population declared for the state by the population commission.

(NAN)


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