Court declines request to halt 2023 census


A federal high court in Abuja has declined an application seeking to halt the 2023 census.


In March, the federal government announced the 2023 population census would commence on May 3 and end May 5.


Omotuyi Ademola had approached the court with an ex parte application seeking the postponement of the census for another six months.


He prayed the court to declare that the commission is currently underfunded and therefore unprepared to conduct a credible, effective and constitutional census.


However, Inyang Ekwo, presiding judge, refused to grant the motion ex parte.


Instead, the judge asked the applicant to put the defendant, National Population Commission (NPC), on notice.


Ekwo said the NPC should appear in court to show cause why the applicant’s motion should not be granted.


He adjourned the matter until May 5.


In a related motion, the court granted an application by Victor Opatola, counsel to Ademola, seeking leave to apply for an order of mandamus compelling the NPC  to furnish him with information concerning the forthcoming 2023 general census.


The application was moved by Rhoda Aransiola.


Ekwo asked Aransiola to file the application within seven days. He adjourned the matter until May 25 for hearing.


In the application, Opatola is praying the court for an order granting him “comprehensive and detailed information concerning the quality test assurance report on the devices and technology to be deployed by the commission towards the coming 2023 general census until judgment is delivered in this case within 7 days of the delivery of judgment”.


“An order granting leave to the applicant to apply for an order of mandamus compelling the defendant to furnish him with comprehensive and detailed information concerning any conflict of interest in the allotment of contracts or jobs given by or to contractors towards the coming 2023 General Census until judgment is delivered in this case within 7 days of the delivery of judgment.”


He further asked the court  for a declaration that the refusal by the defendant to release the information or record requested amounted to a violation of Section 7 (1) and 4 (a) & (b) of the Freedom of Information Act and the action was illegal and unconstitutional.



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