The Census Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Monday voided the 2006 enumeration figures of seven local government areas in Ebonyi as declared by the National Population Commission (NPC).
In a judgment, the Census Tribunal `B’, led by Mr Habibu Ma’aruf with two other members, voided the census figures of Afikpo North, Afikpo South, Ezza South, Ikwo, Ishielu, Ivo and Onicha local government areas for want of counter evidence.
The local governments had earlier filed separate petitions challenging the population figures declared for them by the NPC.
Ma’aruf said the figures were voided based on the inability of the respondent (NPC) to give counter evidence to the allegation by the local government councils that the people were not counted.
In the lead judgement, the tribunal chairman said that NPC was unable to give evidence that the local government areas were actually counted during the 2006 enumeration exercise.
The NPC had declared the population of Afikpo North and Afikpo South as 156,649 and 157,542 respectively, Ezza South as 133,625, Ikwo, 214,969, Ishielu, 152,581, Ivo, 121,363 and Onicha as 236,609.
Similarly, the tribunal validated the population figures of five local government areas in Ebonyi for want of evidence. The council areas are Ezza North, Abakaliki, Ebonyi, Ahaukwu and Ohozara.
The tribunal dismissed the councils' petition because of their inability to substantiate their claims that their localities were not captured during the 2006 enumeration.
The NPC had declared the population of Ezza North as 146,149, Abakaliki, 149,683, Ebonyi, 127,226, Ahaukwu, 195,555 and Onicha, 236,609.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the councils in their petitions complained that some of their households were not enumerated and pleaded with the tribunal to order the NPC organise a fresh enumeration.