Abuja – The Census Tribunal on Thursday in Abuja invalidated the 2006 enumeration figure declared by the National Population Commission for Apapa and Lagos Island.
The Census Tribunal 'C’ presided over by Mary Obegolu voided the figure because the commission failed to give concrete evidence to counter the claims of non-enumeration of some localities within the two councils.
The complainants have proved their cases on preponderance of evidence and the burden of proof has shifted to the respondent.
The Tribunal is satisfied with the testimonies of the complainants’ witnesses and therefore declared the population figures of 222, 986 and 212, 700 for Apapa and Lagos Island, as declared by the respondent as inaccurate, faulty and unsustainable.
Obegolu, who read the lead judgment, therefore ordered the commission to conduct a recount in Abete, Ajegunle, Badia, Apapa Quays, Iganmu, Ijora, Marine Beach, Olodi Apapa, Orile and Tin Can Island, all in Apapa.
The court also directed the body to repeat the enumeration in Adeniji-Adele, Epetedo, Ilubirin, Isale-Eko, Lafiaji, Marina, Olowogbowo and Onikan in Lagos Island.
Obegolu noted that the complainants – Apapa Local Government Council and Lagos Island council – presented 14 witnesses before the tribunal.
She said that a large number of the witnesses claimed that they were not counted during the exercise.
The court also noted that the witness that testified on behalf of the respondent that residents in the affected area were counted was not the right person
According to her, the actual persons that should have given testimonies were the enumerators or the supervisors that participated in the headcount.
"Evidence should come directly from the field officers not the coordinators who did not actually participate in the field exercise.
"Similarly, the respondent opened complaint centres where people could lodge complaints on the census, but failed to tell the tribunal the number of persons that registered their complaints.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the two councils in Lagos had contested the population figures of 222,986 and 212,700 declared by NPC in the 2006 National Population and Household Census.
The councils had alleged that the figures were inaccurate.
They further alleged that 18 areas within the councils were not enumerated and prayed the tribunal to order for the recount of the areas.