Prosecution closes case in Ya-Na trial

Prosecution in the Ya-Na trial on Friday closed its case after failing to produce two other witnesses it had intended to testify in the matter.

In all 12 witnesses have testified in the case in which 15 persons are standing trial for their alleged involvement in the murder of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II,  overlord of Dagbon.

Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, Chief State Attorney in his submission told the court that the prosecution was closing its case and that they are not going to bring any more witnesses to testify in the matter.

Mr Wiredu also handed to the court the statutory statements of all the accused persons, which he said were in conformity with the criminal Act.

He explained that before the accused persons were brought before the Accra High Court, they were first taken to the District Magistrate’s Court at Adjabeng, where they were processed for committal to the Fast Track High Court.

He said all the accused persons were given their bills of indictment and also asked if they would want to plead for alibi, which most of them affirmed.

Mr Samuel Atta Akyea, Lead Counsel for the accused persons in his submission notified the court that the team intended to file a motion of no case on behalf of its clients.

He also prayed the court that the defence team should be furnished with the up-to-date materials on the proceedings to enable the team prepare well for its case.

However, at this juncture, Mr Wiredu rose to his feet and said the defence had no right to file the submission of no case.

He said the defence had no right to determine the submission of no case except the court.

Mr Justice E.K. Ayebi, the trial judge in his ruling said the issue of the submission of no case has been dealt with already by various legal authorities.

He adjourned the case to November 23, by which time both prosecution and defence would have been provided with all the court proceedings to enable them carry out their assignments.

Fifteen 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 District Chief Executive, 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; Baaba Ibrahim, Yakubu Usifu, Ahmed Abukari, Abdul Razak Usifu and Alhassan Braimah.

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

The prosecution’s case is 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 for trial. Subsequently others were arrested and were also arraigned.

Source: GNA

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