Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Drama at Ya-Na trial

The late Ya Na Yakubu Andani II was the Overlord of Dagbon Traditional Area in the Northern Region of Ghana

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday August 17, 2010
The much talk-about trial of 14 people over the murder of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, chief of Dagbon, started on a dramatic note yesterday, when the trial was adjourned abruptly as the prosecution team suspected the judge, Mr. Justice Anthony Oppong of ‘bias.’

Matters came to a head when Rexford Wiredu, a Principal State Attorney prosecuting, shocked the court saying “the AG intends to object to the judge trying this case on the grounds of bias.”

As a result, Justice Oppong asked the prosecution to ‘formally’ file the application for the defense to respond so that the court could give a ruling on the matter and adjourned the case until August 23, 2010.

The police could not even bring the accused persons to the Fast Track High Court for the trial.

The only one who was present at the trial was Iddrisu Iddi a.k.a Mbadugu, believed to be in his eighties. He managed to appear before the court because he is currently on police enquiry bail but all the rest are still in custody.

Those committed by the Adjabeng District Magistrates Court presided over by Ms. Patricia Quansah to stand trial at the High Court are Alhaji Baba Abdulai Iddrisu aka Zohe, Kwame Alhassan aka Achiri, Mohamadu Abdulai aka Samasama, Sayibu Mohammed, Alhassan Braimah and Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, 45, former District Chief Executive of Yendi during the NPP regime as 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th accused persons respectively.

The rest are Baba Ibrahim aka Baba Zey, Alhassan Mohammed a.k.a Mohammed Cheampon, Mohammed Mustapha, Sani Moro, Yakubu Yusif a.k.a Leftee and Hammed Abukari Yussif as 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th accused respectively.
So far it is Zakaria Yakubu aka Zakaria Forest, the seventh accused person who is still at large.

Phillip Addison, counsel for the accused, told the court that the defence got to know their clients were set for the court two hours before the trial.

Ms. Gertrude G. Aikins, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), reading the preliminary facts, said at the Adjabeng Magistrate Court “Zakaria Yakubu aka Zakaria Forest, the 7th accused person (now at large) was seen by witnesses in this case decapitating the Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II near a kraal after he had been dragged there by Mahamadu Abdulai @ Samasama, 4th accused person and one other also at large. That the one who was at large is now the 12th accused person Shani Imoro.”

“Evidence will also be led to show that Alhassan Mohammed @ Mohammed Cheampon, Moro and others were seen with guns firing at the Gbewaa Palace on the 26th and 27th March 2002.

“Evidence will also be led to show that Abukari Nabeli, aka Kunkakums 14th accused person, held two used lorry tyres whilst Mustapha the 11th accused held a gallon of petrol. That the 14th accused person put the lorry tyres on the body of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II and Mustapha, the 11th accused person poured the petrol on the body and set it ablaze.”

“That Yakubu Yusif aka Leftee 13th accused person was also holding a gun by the body. That Zakaria Yakubu aka Zakaria Forest (at large) the 7th accused person was seen with a Dorman Machine.

“That the 15th accused person, Abdul Razak Yussi,f aka Nyaa, was holding a camera and taking pictures of the scene. That, after all these, another group of men including the above led by Iddrisu Iddi aka Mbadugu came drumming, singing and dancing around the burning body,” the DPP said.

On page 34 of the NDC manifesto titled “Manifesto for a better Ghana 2008,” a portion headlined ‘Protecting the people’ promised to “Set up a new truly non-partisan professionally competent and independent Presidential Commission to re-open investigations into the murder of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II and his elders in March 2002.”

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