Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ya Na Murder Trial: Prosecution pleads for another chance

The accused persons leaving court yesterday.

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By William Yaw Owusu

Wednesday November 24, 2010
The prosecution in the case of 15 persons standing trial for the murder of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II, overlord of Dagbon during the intra ethnic conflict between Abudu and Andani gates in Yendi in 2002 has officially applied to the court to have the case re-opened to enable them to call another witness.

The witness is called Moses Nsor, an ex-security officer residing in Togo who claims he has secret recordings of Alhassan Braimah, the sixth accused person confessing to him that he (Braimah) killed the Ya Na.

Interestingly, Nsor’s name was not included on the list of prospective witnesses presented by the prosecution before the trial commenced.

Daily Guide has learnt that Ben Nsor was one of the 40 person arrested by the security agencies early this year in connection with the case but was left off the hook after the police had conducted identification and screening exercise.

Currently, Braimah together with others 13 including Mohammed Habib Tijani former DCE in the NPP administration have been charged with conspiracy while another person called Zakaria Yakubu aka Zakaria Forest, whom the prosecution says he killed the Ya Na is facing charges of conspiracy and murder but is at large even though he is being tried in absentia.

After failing on three occasions to present more witnesses, the prosecution on November 5, 2010, officially said it had closed its case in the trial prompting the defense to indicate to the court that it intends to file motion of “Submission of No case”, a request which was granted by the court.

The court presided over by Justice EK Ayebi of the Court of Appeal then ordered the registrar of the court to make available to the defense all the proceedings of the trial before November 12, 2010 and adjourned the case to today Tuesday, November 23, 2010 for the defense to prepare the motion for “Submission of No Case”.

Before the prosecution closed its case, it had brought 12 witnesses including two police investigators and the pathologist who conducted autopsy on the Ya Na’s body to testify in the case.

When the case was called yesterday, Ms. Gertrude Aikins, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), told the packed court that “we have filed a motion on notice to re-open the case and call a witness we have been looking for all this while.”

Mr. Phillip Addison, counsel for the accused person then confirmed to the court that the defense team received copies of the motion and the statement of case filed by the prosecution but said the document did not give enough information for them to reply.

“It is important for them to let us know what they are seeking to tender in evidence. They should give us an idea.”

Ms. Aikins then cut in to say that the prosecution would file supplementary affidavit to disclose sufficient information for the defense to reply.

The court then directed the prosecution to furnish the defense with information on what they (prosecution) want to do and adjourned the case until November 29, 2010.

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