Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Investigator Testifies In Ya Na Trial

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday October 19, 2010
The investigator, who was scheduled to give evidence in the case in which 15 people are being tried for the murder of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II, overlord of Dagbon, could not do so because the Attorney Generals’ Department wanted Detective Inspector Augustus Nkrumah, the man currently handling the case to testify first.

Detective Inspector Charles Adaba, who investigated the intra-ethnic conflict between Abudu and Andani Gates at Yendi from March 25, 2002 to March 27, 2002 was ready to give evidence when the prosecution, led by Anthony Rexford Wiredu, a Principal State Attorney ‘surprised’ the defense team by presenting to the court, Inspector Nkrumah as the next witness.

On Thursday, October 15, 2010, Mr. Wiredu said “My Lord, we wanted to call our next witness, Detective Inspector Charles Adaba, the officer who did the initial investigations in 2002, but he just came back from Sudan, so we are going to have a conference with him before he comes to give evidence.”

“We are going to crave your indulgence to have conference with him. He has documents he will tender. We want to give him time to arrange all these documents to be used as exhibits. We want the case to be adjourned until Monday”.

But yesterday the prosecution beat another retreat when Mr. Wiredu called Detective Nkrumah instead of Detective Adaba to testify, noting, “On Friday before close of work we had information that Detective Nkrumah has been invited to undertake certain instructions and exercise to proceed to Sudan, starting tomorrow.”

He said, “Inspector Adaba will also move to Sudan on October 22, if Inspector Adaba is called and we do not finish with him today, we will lose Detective Nkrumah”.

Counsel for the accused persons, Phillip Addison, who was not happy about the way and manner in which the prosecution was calling its witnesses said, “We were all here when they said they were bringing detective Adaba because they were not ready then only to spring another surprise on us.

We have not had the chance to go through the statements of Detective Nkrumah, whom they are seeking to bring as their next witness.”

“Detective Nkrumah has been around all the time. The last time I suggested that he could be called whilst they prepare for Detective Adaba, the prosecution refused and said he was going to be their last witness. Now they bring him when we have not prepared for him.”

The trial judge, Justice EK Ayebi of the Court of Appeal said “this is completely out of the blue because this is not what we agreed upon the last time. You should have at least informed your colleague defense counsel.”

The court then allowed about 15 minutes break in the course of Detective Nkrumah’s evidence to enable the accused persons to confer with their counsel on the statements they made to the police, which Detective Nkrumah sought to tender in evidence.

In his evidence-in-chief, Detective Nkrumah who appeared as the 11th Prosecution Witness (PW11) told the packed court that he was assigned to the case on February 12, 2010 and said he knows all the witnesses that testified in the trial, except Brigadier General Dr. Jaswant Mante Wadhwani (Rtd), the pathologist who performed an autopsy on the Ya Na’s body.

He said he visited Yendi and saw that the front view of the Gbewaa Palace had been riddled with bullet holes, adding “an iron used to cover the pavilion had holes in it.”

“Behind the palace, there was a tractor close to a big baobab tree which had been burnt and the buildings in the palace had been roofed again.”

He said his investigations revealed that after the Ya Na had been killed the Abudus took the palace and purposely roofed it for the funeral of their late king within a week.

Detective Nkrumah said he visited the place where the Ya Na’s body was allegedly burnt and also visited the Prisons Quarters, where some of the witnesses hid and saw the Ya Na being killed.

He then tendered in statements he took from all the accused persons and after reading them, (14 statements) he told the court that the police conducted identification parade for the suspects.

The judge adjourned the case for Detective Nkrumah to continue with his evidence-in-chief today.

Before Detective Nkrumah entered the witness box, defense counsel moved an application compelling the Attorney General to produce the all documents at the Wuaku Commission to the court but an affidavit by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) responded that the AG does not have anything apart from the Wuaku Commission Report itself in their custody.

All the 15 accused persons, except Zakaria Yakubu aka Zakaria Forest, the seventh accused (A7) who is currently at large, were in court.

They have all pleaded not guilty to conspiracy, with Forest (A7) facing an additional charge of murder.

They are currently on remand except Iddrisu Iddi aka Mbadugu, due to old age.

Those on trial are Iddrisu Iddi aka Mbadugu, 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 (DCE) of Yendi as second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth accused persons respectively.

The rest are Baba Ibrahim aka Baba Zey, Alhassan Mohammed aka Mohammed Cheampon, Mohammed Mustapha, Shani Imoro, Yakubu Yusif aka Leftee and Hammed Abukari Yussif aka Kuns and Abdul Razak Yussif aka Nyaa as ninth, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th accused persons respectively.

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