Lawyer Sues NPC, Seeks Cancellation Of 2023 Census Over Insecurity, Others

Malcom Omirhobo
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A human rights lawyer, Chief Malcolm Omirhobo, has sued the National Population Commission (NPC) and two others at the Federal High Court, Lagos, challenging its intention to conduct national population census on April 2023 amid insecurity, just a month after the general elections in February and March.

The two other respondents joined in the suit are the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the federation.
Omirhobo, in his statement of claim, is asking the court to declare that Nigeria is facing existential challenges as a result of insecurity of unimaginable proportion and prostrate economy, and therefore, cannot afford to conduct a viable, credible and acceptable National Population Census in 2023 until the security situation of the country is stabilised and economy improved for proper, lawful, legal and constitutional census to take place.

He also wants the court to declare that it is improper, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional for the defendants to conduct National Population Census in 2023 when over 12 million able bodied Nigerian men, women and children of the North East, North West and North Central zones fleeing from the reign of terror and harsh economic realities are scattered all over the major cities, towns and villages of the South South, South East and South West Zones of Nigeria as economic refugees without fixed abode.

The applicant said those individuals are living in dumps and uncompleted buildings and without means of livelihood and are yet to return to their ancestral homes or residence under a tranquil and safe environment for enumeration.

His prayers: “A declaration of this honourable court that it is improper, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional for the defendants to conduct census in 2023 when over three million able bodied Nigerian men and women of the North East and North West zones are living in bushes and forest throughout Nigeria and cannot be assessed by defendants for enumeration.

“A declaration that it is improper, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional for the defendants to conduct census in 2023 when over 15 million Nigerian men, women and children from the North East, North West and North Central zones of Nigeria are scattered all over Nigeria and neighbouring West African Countries in Internally Displaced Persons Camps and are yet to return to their ancestral homes or residence under a tranquil and safe environment for enumeration.”

As a result, the applicant is asking the court to make an order, compelling the defendants to cancel and/or suspend the planning and/or conduct of the 2023 census until the security situation is stabilised and economy improved.

He is also wants the court to compel the defendants to cancel and/or suspend forthwith the planning of and/or the conduct of the 2023 census until the over 12 million Nigerians fleeing from the reign of terror and harsh economic realities in the North, return to their ancestral homes or residence under a tranquil and safe environment for enumeration.

Also, he wants the court to compel the defendants to cancel and/or suspend the planning or conduct of the census until the defendants are able to gain access to the over three million Nigerians living in bushes and forests throughout Nigeria for enumeration purposes.

The lawyer, in addition, is praying the court to compel the defendants to cancel the exercise until the over 15 million Nigerians in Internally Displaced Persons Camps return to their ancestral homes or residence under a tranquil and safe environment for enumeration.

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