The tribunal said it was convinced the areas were not properly enumerated.
The Census Tribunal on Tuesday in Abuja ordered the National Population Commission (NPC) to carry out a recount of 17 towns in Sagbama Local Government Council of Bayelsa.
The areas are Kabiama, Orua, Ebeni, Angalabiri, Osiama, Ebedebiri, Otrofani, Akede, Odoni, Elemebiri, Ofoni, Okumbiri, Asamabiri, Abuetor, Osekwenike, Osifo and Agbere.
The Census Tribunal `A’ Chairman, Abraham Yisa, gave the order in a judgment on failure of the respondent to contradict the allegation of non-enumeration of the towns by the complainant.
In the lead judgment read by Mr. Yisa, it held that the respondent waived the right to make an issue out of the subject matter.
The chairman stated that the major issue before the tribunal was the omission of some towns and enumeration areas from the commission’s Enumeration Area Map (EA) while there were no enumerations in other areas.
The council had earlier challenged the census figure of 186,869 declared by the commission for the council in the 2006 National Population and Household Census, stressing that it was not a true reflection of it population. It held that the respondent failed to give adequate coverage to the council due to logistic factors like river transportation, shortage of NPC01, 02 and 07, ink pad among others.
The council further prayed the tribunal to declare the figure null and void, and to order for fresh conduct of the exercise.
Mr. Yisa held that the respondent failed to contradict the complainant claims of omission of several areas from the EA map during the demarcation exercise.
According to him, the NPC also failed to contradict the allegation of its inability to reach some riverine settlements. He said that on a balance of probabilities, the complainant had proved its case on a preponderance of evidence.
“The facts elicited by the complainant in evidence appear to be in direct negation of regularity of the census. The complainant alleged without disproof that several areas were omitted from the enumeration area maps during the demarcation exercise and the omissions were carried into the census.
`”he complainant was also not contradicted in its assertion that the respondent failed to reach some e riverine settlements and that there were insufficient census materials and personnel.
“The tribunal finds that the major issues before it are that some towns and enumeration areas were omitted from the EA maps and that there was no census in others,’’ he said.
According to him, the issue of individuals in those areas does not arise as pointed out by the respondent.
“The tribunal therefore draws an inference that the census figure of 186,869 released by the respondent is not a true reflection of the population of Sagbama Local Government Area.
“The tribunal is convinced that on a balance of probabilities, the complainant has proved its case on preponderance of evidence.
“Therefore, by the power vested on it by Paragraph 25 of the third Schedule made in pursuant to section 28 of NPC Act, Cap. 67, it holds that the complaint succeeds and orders a recount in the 17 areas,’’ Mr. Yisa said.
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