The Ya-Na murder trial: Witness identifies 5 accused persons

A sixth prosecution witness in the Ya-Na murder trial yesterday identified five persons accused of playing various roles leading to the death of the Overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, and a number of his elders in March, 2002.

Iddrisu Muthawakil told the Accra Fast Track High Court that the accused persons, namely the former District Chief Executive of Yendi, Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, Alhassan Braimah, Iddrisu Iddi, Mahamadu Abdulai, alias Samasama, Mohammed Mustapha and Abdul Razak Yussif, aka Nyaa, were among those who played various roles which led to the death of the Ya-Na and some of his elders, as well as the destruction of houses in Yendi.

Other accused persons in the case are Alhaji Baba Abdulai Iddrisu, aka Zohe, Kwame Alhassan, aka Achiri, and Sayibu Mohammed.

The rest are Alhassan Mohammed, alias Mohammed Cheampon, Abukari Nabeli, aka Kunkakums or Kooms, Mohammed Mustapha, Yakubu Yusif, aka Leftee, and Shani Imoro.

They have pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to murder the Ya- Na, while another person, Zakaria Yakubu, now at large, is facing one count of murder of the Ya-Na.

Led by a Principal State Attorney, Mr Solomon Atadzi, to give his evidence-in-chief, the witness told the court that the former DCE sat on a motorbike and led an armoured car to the Bolin Lana’s residence and not long after, armed Abudus began shooting and moving towards the late Ya-Na’s palace.

He said he also saw Mohamadu Abdulai, aka Samasama, and Yussif drag the Ya-Na’s body and put it at a spot.

The witness, who said he also sustained gunshot wounds in the neck and suffered police brutalities when he sought refuge, said Iddi was among the people who shot at the Ya-Na’s palace while Mustapha burnt houses around the palace.

Muthawakil said an anonymous caller called the Ya-Na’s palace on March 27, 2002 and warned that the Ya-Na’s palace faced imminent attack if its inhabitants did not evacuate.

However, according to the witness, it was too late because immediately the caller hung up, one Zakaria, who was not among the accused persons, entered the palace and began burning rooms.

During cross-examination from lead counsel for the accused persons, Mr Philip Addison, the witness told the court that his evidence to the court was not an afterthought because, as he put it, the Wuaku Commission did not capture most of his evidence.

He also admitted that the palace attendant and other persons fired back at the Abudus when they attacked the Ya-Na’s palace.

The witness said although the other prosecution witnesses did not state that they saw the former DCE on a motorbike leading the armoured vehicle, he did.

Counsel disagreed and said the records at the Wuaku Commission did not correspond with his evidence-in-chief but the witness insisted that the Commission omitted aspects of his evidence.

Hearing continues today.

Source: Daily Graphic

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