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Witness testifies at Ya-Na’s trial

2010-10-05 23:03:05
This article has been read 2650 times.

Ya Naa 1972-2002
Iddrisu Mutawakil, a volunteer teacher and former attendant at the Gbewaa Palace, has mentioned the names of three people who allegedly played roles in the murder of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, the Overlord of Dagbon.

They are Mohammed Habib Tijani, former District Chief Executive (DCE) for Yendi, Mohammadu Abdulai and Sani Moro.

Mr Mutawakil was led in evidence by Mr Solomon Atadzi, a Principal State Attorney at an Accra Fast Track High Court in Accra.

Fourteen persons are on trial for their alleged involvement in the assassination of Ya-Na Andani and 30 others in March 2002.

They have all pleaded not guilty to the charges of conspiracy to murder and murder.

The accused persons are Mohammed Habib Tijani, former Yendi DCE, Iddrisu Iddi, 76, Alhaji Baba Iddrisu Abdulai, 54, Kwame Alhassan, 53, and Mohammadu Abdulai, 57.

The others are Saibu Mohammed, 34, Alhassan Mohammed Briamah, 40, Alhassan Ibrahim, Mohammed Mustapha and Sani Moro.
The rest are Yakubu Usifu, Ahmed Abukari, Abdul Razak Usifu and Alhassan Braimah.

One Zakaria Forest, the man alleged to have decapitated the head and hands of the Ya- Na, is at large.

Mutawakil said on March 24, 2002 when he was in the Gbewaa
Palace he saw that a Policeman came and asked the Ya-Na to send two of his elders to the Police station.

He said that when the elders returned from the Police station, they brought a letter, which was given to the Ya-Na’s Secretary to read.

Mutawakil said the letter stated that there was going to be a curfew in Yendi but it did not state the reasons for the curfew.

Mutawakil said that the Ya-Na asked his secretary to call the former DCE for him but the former DCE refused to come.

He said that Ya-Na Andani asked his secretary to call the former Northern Regional Minister, Prince Imoro Andani, who arrived in Yendi about two hours later.

Mutawakil said the Ya-Na briefed Prince Andani about the imposition of the curfew in Yendi but he (Imoro Andani) said he was not aware of any such development and the Ya-Na promised the former Minister that the Bugum Festival was going to be peaceful.

Mutawakil said on March 26, 2002 while he and some of his colleagues were sitting under a Baobab tree in front of the Palace they saw Mbadugu and his son Ziblim Abudulai coming towards the Palace.

Mr Mutawakil said that Mbadugu claimed that his son was attacked by some Abudus who seized his bicycle.

He said that when matter was reported to the Ya-Na he (Ya-NA) said it should be reported to the Police.

Mr Mutawakil said later in the day while he and his colleagues were sitting under the Baobab tree they heard the sound of gun fire and he (Mutawakil) saw one Sau Billa firing towards the Gbewaa Palace.

Mr Mutawakil said that in evening when the firing had died down he saw Mohammed Habib Tijani, the former DCE for Yendi riding a motor bicycle leading a military armoured car, which passed behind the Gbewaa Palace heading towards the Boli-Lana’s Palace.

The witness said that in the morning of March 27, 2002, occupants of the Palace had an anonymous call warning them to leave the Palace by 18 hours because they could be attacked and killed.

Mr Mutawakil said about few minutes to the 18 hours dead line, firing started again at the Palace and the Palace was set a blaze by the Abudus.

The witness said that he had to escape to the Palace Mausoleum from where he managed to jump a wall into the Prisons’ quarters.

He said he met Amadu Yakubu, Imrana Saibu, Alhassan Andani, Mohammed Achana a.k.a Bashiru red and Alhassan Yakubu who were also hiding behind some firewood.

Mutawakil said whiles there he saw Mohammadu Abdulai and Sani Moro drag the Ya-Na to a spot and few minutes later heard the Abudus beating certain drums and dancing and he saw Yidana Sugri with the hands of the Ya-Na.

Mutawakil said he left his hide out and headed towards the Police station for protection but was turned away by the Police.

He said in the process he met another Policeman who took him in a Pajaro vehicle and sent him back to the Police station but Constable Nyarkotey Adjetey and his colleagues assaulted him and handed him over to the Abudus who shot him in the neck.

The witness said whiles he was lying in the street, Osman Suleimana, Baaba Issaka and Shamasu a.k.a soldier, all Abudus, approach the Place but when they saw a military armoured car coming they fled and he managed to get to the Yendi Hospital where a bullet was remove from his neck and he was discharged on March 28, 2002.

Mutawakil denied claims by the defense that he had ample opportunity to leave the Palace when the firing subsided but did not do so because he was one of the warriors of Ya-Na, who were firing to repel the Abudus attacks.

He said even though he knew that the Ya-Na’s wives and children were in the Palace he did not know the when they left the palace.

The prosecution said that sometime in March 2002, the Ya-Na and some of his elders were killed following a clash between the two royal
gates in Dagbon, the Abudus and Andanis.

After the clash, Idrissu Gyamfo and Yidana Sugri were arrested and prosecuted for the alleged murder but they were acquitted and discharged.

The government in a fresh attempt to find the murderers conducted a dawn swoop at Yendi during, which 41 persons were rounded up.

After screening them in Bimbilla, 33 were granted self-recognisance bail, while the rest were brought to Accra and subsequently others were arrested and were arraigned.

The case has been adjourned to October 5, 2010.


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