Prosecution to re-open case

… In trial of Ya-Na murder suspects

By: Ivy Benson

The prosecution in the trial of suspects, including the former District Chief Executive (DCE) of Yendi, Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, over the murder of the Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, in March 2002, has sought permission to re-open its case which has been closed for some weeks now.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ms. Gertrude Aikins, told the Fast Track Court (FTC), presided over by Justice Ayirebi, an Appeal Court Judge with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge, that the move was to bring some witnesses in the case who the state had been looking for some time now, to give evidence.

In an application before the court, the DPP sought to request the court to grant it the permission to make available the said witnesses to give evidence before the court, however, the defense team, led by Mr. Phillip Addison, argued that the motion did not disclose enough details to enable them make sufficient submission on it.

According to Mr. Addison, the prosecution needs to provide the defense with the necessary details, including names of the expected witnesses, and summary of evidence on the expected witnesses.

The Prosecution, accordingly, agreed to provide the defense team with all the necessary documents being demanded to facilitate their work efficiently.

The court, adjourned, sitting to November 29, 2010, to enable the prosecution cure the defects accompanying the application they filed before the court.

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.

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