Wednesday, October 20, 2010

There were weapons in Ya Na’s Palace

Detective Adaba investigated the Dagbon crises

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By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday October 20, 2010
Detective Inspector Charles Adaba, the officer who investigated the intra-ethnic conflict between the Abudu and Andani Royal Gates at Yendi in March 2002, which led to the death of Ya Yakubu Andani II, overlord of Dagbon, yesterday told an Accra Fast Track High Court that there were weapons in the Gbewaa Palace, where the fighting took place.

He said: “When we entered the palace on March 27, 2002, we did extensive search and retrieved exhibits which included burnt weapons. We found AK 47s and sub-machine guns which were all burnt.”

He continued: “We also found an AK 47 which was not burnt and it was in a vehicle with registration NR 1 A, belonging to the Ya Na and a G3 weapon which was taken from Mohammed Achana Abdul Salaam aka Red.”

Detective Adaba, who was attached to the Yendi Divisional Police Command as a Sergeant when the conflict erupted, was testifying in the case in which 15 people are being tried for the murder of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II.

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.

Led in evidence by Anthony Rexford Wiredu, a Principal State Attorney, Detective Adaba who was brought down from Darfur, Sudan to testify said “there was a communal violence between the Abudu and Andani royal gates from March 25, 2002 to March 27, 2002 and that led to the death of the Ya Na and 28 others mostly Andanis.

He told the packed court that the firing of guns was centered at a place called Nayili in Yendi where the palace is located and said he took photographs of dead bodies and the injured, all with dates and compiled a comprehensive police report which was tendered in evidence.

Detective Adaba said the houses surrounding the palace were all burnt adding that “in the course of the investigations we found out that 30 people died including the Ya Na.”

“After the fighting stopped on March 27, we had information that the Ya Na had being burnt and in order not to cause any panic I sneaked in undercover and took photographs of the burning body of the Ya Na. After taking the photographs, I came back, organized and put the fire off.”

He said out of the 30 people, who died in the conflict, only one person died at the hospital saying “his name was Iddi from the Abudu Gate and he died on 30th March.”

He said five out of the 29 who died were sub-chiefs of the Andani Gate and their bodies were released to their families according to Dagomba custom adding “Out of the 30 bodies, 20 belonged to the Andani Gate.”

“The remaining 25 were buried at a village called Sambu but three of them were not identified.”

He said the burnt body was later identified as that of the Ya Na adding “I took photographs of the burnt head of the Ya Na…We took the body together with the head to the mortuary.”

Detective Adaba said when the Wuaku Commission was set up to investigate the murder of the Ya Na he was attached as an investigator saying “the two parties were always represented at the sitting until the last week of the sitting when the Andani Royal Gate boycotted the proceedings.”

He said a ballistic analyst was brought to the palace and he identified bullet marks.
Sitting continues today for Detective Adaba to continue his evidence-in-chief.

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