…on the trial of alleged Ya-na murderers
By Ivy Benson
The prosecution in the trial of the former District Chief Executive (DCE) of Yendi, Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, and others over the murder of the Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, in March 2002, has finally closed its case.
The state attorneys ended their case after two expected witnesses, Nantomah Alhassan Andani and Grundo Wumbei, failed to appear in court for several weeks, to give evidence in the case.
However, the defense team said it would file an application of no case to dismiss the prosecution’s charges and allegations against the accused persons.
The court, presided over by Justice Ayirebi, an Appeal Court judge, with additional responsibility as a High court judge, therefore, adjourned sitting to November 23, 2010.
The accused persons standing trial include Iddrisu Iddi, alias Mbadugu, Alhaji Baba Abdulai Iddrisu, alias Zohe, Kwame Alhassan, alias Achiri, Mohammed Abdulai, alias Samasama, Sayibu Mohammed, Alhassan Braimah, Iddrisu Iddi and Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, former District Chief Executive (DCE) for Yendi.
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 fourteen of the accused persons are facing charges of conspiracy in murdering the Overlord of Dabon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, another accused person, Zakaria Yakubu, who is currently at large, is facing a 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 to the chieftaincy dispute.