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Six indicted for trial in the alleged murder of the Ya Na

2010-05-18 22:36:55
This article has been read 780 times.

Six persons are to be indicted for trial at the High Court following their involvement in the alleged murder of the Dagbon King, Ya Na Yakubu Andani II and some of his elders in 2002.

Four others are expected to be let off the hook.

Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, Principal State Attorney, announced this after the Human Rights Court (Fast Track High Court Division) had admitted Yidana Sugri, 42, who is being held for allegedly training people for military exercise, for bail. Sugri was admitted to GH¢10,000 bail with a surety by the Court presided over by Mr Justice U.P. Dery.

However, the Principal State Attorney could not give reasons and names of those who were to be discharged and those to stand trial. Sugri, who was jointly charged with Iddrisu Janfo for conspiracy and murdering of the Ya Na but were acquitted and discharged by an Accra Fast Track High Court (AFTHC) in 2003, is now being held for allegedly training people for military exercise.

The Human Rights Court noted that the charge levelled against Sugri had no bearing with the offences levelled against the nine others. The court, however, turned down a bail application by counsel for the nine other accused persons facing charges of conspiracy and murder of the Ya Na and some of his elders.

Eight of the nine, are Iddrisu Iddi 76, Alhaji Baba Iddrisu Abdalla, 54, Kwame Alhaasan, 53, Mohammed Kojo, 45, Mohammadu Abdulai, 57, Saibu Mohammed, 34, Yakubu Mohammed, 42, and Alhasaan Briamah, 40. One other person, Abubakar Mahama who was later arrested in connection with the same offence, has not appeared before the Human Rights Court. The court in its ruling, noted that it was clear the accused persons were arrested on suspicion of causing the death of Ya-Na. It said under charges of conspiracy and murder, bail could not be granted to accused persons. The court said the manner the accused persons were arrested and put before the lower court could not constitute "an unreasonable delay". It noted that the accused persons failed to put up a case to warrant their release on bail.

The court disagreed with defence counsel that because Sugri had been acquitted he could not be put before the court.

On April 16, this year, the accused persons went to the Human Rights Court, saying their rights had been violated after the District Magistrate's Court remanded them on April 12. They contended that they had been unjustifiably remanded by the Magistrate's court.

"If you go through the records, the judge only adopted the facts and remanded the accused persons, the judge was mislead to believe that this was the case of murder," he pointed out.

Mr Samuel Atta-Akyea, Defence Counsel, said no proper charges had been preferred against the accused persons, adding that the facts before the court only traced the history of the fight between Abudu's and Andani's. According to him no proper processes had been taken by the State in respect of the case, and that the prosecution was only experimenting with the rights and liberties of human beings.

"If the State should play with the liberty of individuals in this manner, then we have a long way to go," he remarked. Mr Atta-Akyea said the facts presented before the lower court did not in any way connect the accused to the death of the King of Dagbon. "You should not bring somebody before the court without a cogent and compelling evidence to merit a remand," he said.

Defence counsel said it was sad for the State to remand the accused persons and inform the court that investigations were on going.

He said there was no way the nine accused persons were going to interfere with investigations of the Bureau of National Investigations, National Security and Ghana Police Service and prayed the court to grant them bail. Mr Wiredu said at the previous sitting he had vehemently opposed the bail application saying the accused persons had been properly charged and the State was preparing a bill of indictment and summary of evidence. He pointed out that more time was needed to prepare the bill of indictment and summary of evidence. The Principal State Attorney disclosed that more people were going to be rounded up and they needed not to let loose the accused persons whom when granted bail would interfere with investigations.

He refuted defence counsel's claim that the accused persons were being used as guinea pigs, adding, "We are trying to secure peace for the majority". Mr Wiredu said the State was relying on the Wuaku Commission's Report, adding to prevent tension in the area, bail should not be granted to the accused persons.

He contended that it was not possible for the State to arrest and complete investigation within the 48-hour constitutional requirements. Mr Wiredu said although the investigations were saddled with some constraints, the team was working on the case as fast as possible. He said the law prohibited the courts from granting bail to the accused persons, who were facing a charge of murder.

In the case of Sugri, Mr Wiredu contended that he had not suffered "double jeopardy," explaining that the charge he faced earlier on and now, were different. It would be recalled that in March 2002, Ya Na Yakubu Andani II, and some of his elders were killed following a clash between the two royal gates i= n Dagbon, the Abudus and Andanis.

After the clash, Janfo and Sugri were arrested and put before an AFTHC for the alleged murder of the Ya-Na and his elders, but were acquitted and discharged. In a fresh attempt by government and security agencies to find the murderers of the Ya Na, 41 persons were rounded up at Yendi in a dawn swoop on Saturday, April 10, 2010. After screening them in Bimbilla, 33 were granted self recognisance bail, while the rest were escorted to Accra and put before court.


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