Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ya Na Trial Takes New Twist

Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com

By William Yaw Owusu

Tuesday November 23, 2010.
The trial of 15 men accused of killing Ya Na Yakubu Andani II, overlord of Dagbon has taken a new twist following a motion filed by the Attorney General’s Department to have the prosecution re-open its case.

After failing on three occasions to present more witnesses, the prosecution on November 5, 2010, officially said it had closed it 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.

However, just as the motion for “Submission of No Case” was to be moved, the prosecution on November 18, 2010 filed “an application to re-open its case and tender recording through witness.”

The affidavit, a copy of which Daily Guide has in its possession claimed the sixth accused person in the case, Alhassan Braimah is said to have been recorded by one Moses Nsor, an ex-security officer, confessing that he (Braimah) killed the Ya Na.

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.

The affidavit deposed to by Robert Ayalingo, Director of Operations at the CID headquarters said he supervised the second investigation into the murder of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II and that during the investigation, the name Ben Nsor kept cropping up.

Mr. Ayalingo said Nsor who is ‘ordinarily’ resident in Togo was located on November 7, 2010; two days after the prosecution had closed its case and during interrogation, vital evidence in the form of audio recording of Braimah was recovered.

“I am advised and verily believe same to be true that the recording constitute fresh evidence in this case which despite the exercise of reasonable diligence could not have been obtained prior to or during the prosecution’s evidence-in-chief.”

Mr. Ayalingo deposed that the recording is relevant to the case saying “…the probative value of the proffered evidence substantially outweighs any prejudice that may be caused to the defense or the need to ensure a fair trial within a reasonable time if it is tendered in evidence.”

All the 15 accused persons, except Zakaria Yakubu aka Zakaria Forest, the seventh suspect 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 and Abdul Razak Yussif aka Nyaa as 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th accused persons respectively.

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