Ya Na Trial: Prosecution Admits The Existence Of Tapes
The prosecution in the Ya-Na murder trial on Monday notified the Fast Track High Court hearing the case of the existence of the video and audio tapes from the Wuako Commission of Enquiry proceedings which they initially denied existed. Mr Anthony Rexford Wiredu, Chief State Attorney, told the court that the box containing the tapes was found with one of the officers at the Attorney-General’s Department who handed it over to the prosecution after reading about it in the newspapers. Mr Wiredu said the contents of four of the tapes, which he listened to, were the same as the printed copy of the proceedings that were tendered to the court by defence counsel. He said since the contents were the same it would be a waste of time for the prosecution to also tender them to the court. Mr Samuel Atta-Akyea, counsel for the accused persons, commended Mr Wiredu for admitting that the video and audio tapes were in the custody of the AG’s Department. He said since the tapes were handed over to a properly designated state institution, a regime change should not affect the custody of the material. Mr Justice E.K. Ayebi, the trial judge, in his ruling, advised the prosecution to ensure the safe keeping of the materials so that as and when the need arose they could be brought to the court. Mr Wiredu also prayed the Court to adjourn sittings to Wednesday October 27, 2010 because the prosecution had not been able to bring its witnesses from Tamale to Accra. However, Mr Atta-Akyea was not happy with the prosecution’s excuse that they were unable to bring their witnesses to Accra. He asked the AG to use every available means at its disposal to bring the witnesses to Court because, according him, “Justice delayed is justice denied”. He said the prosecution could not go on while his clients continued to languish in jail. Fifteen persons are on trial for their alleged involvement in the assassination of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II 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; 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. Others were subsequently arrested and arraigned.
Source: Ghana News Agency