Accused persons in Ya Na murder trial acquitted and discharged

An Accra Fast Track High Court on Tuesday acquitted and discharged all the 15 accused persons on trial for the murder of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II, King of Dagbon.

They were acquitted and discharged on three counts of rioting, conspiracy to murder and murder.

The accused persons who pleaded not guilty to the charges were Mohammed Habib Tijani, a 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; 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.

In its ruling, the court presided over by Mr Justice E.K. Ayebi said facts presented by the prosecution had no locus and failed to establish any complicity of the accused persons in the murder of the Ya Na.

He said the prosecution witnesses who testified were inconsistent and contradicted themselves.

Mr Justice Ayebi said “Statements by the witnesses also contradicted their own testimonies at the Wuako Commission some time ago. The charred body of a man believed to be that of the Ya Na could not be properly identified by the prosecution.”

He said there was no DNA test to prove that the charred body found was that of the Ya Na and since then nobody had been able to identify the Ya Na’s body.

Mr Justice Ayebi said all the prosecution witnesses were Andanis and determined to incriminate the accused persons of being behind the murder of Ya Na.

Earlier security at the court premises was beefed up with the Police mounting water cannon vehicles at vantages points to maintain law and order.

The prosecution’s case was that sometime in March 2002, the Ya-Na and 30 others were killed following a clash between the two royal gates in Dagbon, 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 NDC 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 to stand trial.

Source: GNA

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