By: Ivy Benson
The defense team in the trial of the former District Chief Executive (DCE) of Yendi, Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, and fourteen others over the murder of the Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, in March 2002 at the Fast Track Court (FTC), has indicated its intention to oppose a new application filed by te state prosecutors to re-open the case, and adduce fresh evidence.
According to Mr. Phillip Addison, lead counsel of the defense team, his side had just been served in court with the application filed to replace an earlier one filed on the last adjourned date.
He therefore, sought the court’s indulgence to enable his team file a response to the application introduced by the state prosecutors before the court.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ms. Gertrude Aikins, told the court, presided over by Justice Ayirebi, an Appeal Court judge with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, that the state had filed a new application, and was withdrawing the old application earlier placed before the court.
The court therefore, struck out the old application of the state, and adjourned hearing to December 2, 2010 to enable the defense team file its response to the new application before it.
Other accused persons include Iddrisu Iddi, alias Mbadugu, Alhaji Baba Abdulai Iddrisu alias Zohe, Kwame Alhassan alias Achiri, Mohammed Abdulai alias Samasama, Sayibu Mohammed, Alhassan Braimah and Iddrisu Iddi.
The rest are Alhassan Mohammed alias Mohammed Cheampon, Abukari Nabeli alias Kunkakums or Kooms, Mohammed Mustapha, Yakubu Yusif alias Leftee, Abdul Razak Yussif alias Nyaa and Shani Imoro.
While all fifteen accused persons are facing charges of conspiracy in murdering the Overlord of Dabon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, one of the accused persons, Zakaria Yakubu, who is currently at large, is facing an additional charge of murdering the Ya-Na.
The fourteen accused persons had pleaded not guilty to conspiring in the murder of the Ya-Na, as they are standing trial before a-seven-member jury.
Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II was murdered in March 2002, together with about 30 of his traditional elders during a three-day siege on his Gbewaa Palace, in what appeared to be caused by hostilities between the rival Andani and Abudu gates in a chieftaincy dispute.