Court Orders NPC to Disclose Spending Details on Aborted Census

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Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the National Population Commission (NPC) to release comprehensive details of spending related to the aborted 2023 Population Census to Abuja-based lawyer, Opatola Victor.

The court’s decision came in response to a suit filed by the lawyer against the population commission, seeking access to information regarding the expenditure on the canceled census.

Justice Ekwo declared the NPC’s refusal to provide the requested information as wrongful, illegal, and unconstitutional.

Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, the judge emphasized the plaintiff’s right to access information and held that the NPC’s failure to disclose details about the technology and companies involved in the census preparation was a violation of the law.

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While the court declined to award monetary compensation to the plaintiff, it granted an order of mandamus compelling the NPC to furnish the lawyer with comprehensive information regarding the Quality Test Assurance Report on the devices and technology intended for deployment in the census.

However,Justice Ekwo dismissed the NPC’s claims of bureaucracy and the classification of information, asserting that the requested records were not classified and were within the plaintiff’s rights to access under the FOI Act.

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