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General News of Monday, 29 December 2003


I deliberately refused to visit Yendi - Malik Alhasssan

THE FORMER Minister of Interior and Member of Parliament (MP) for Yendi, Alhaji Malik Alhassan Yakubu, told an Accra Fast Track Court (FTC) Tuesday that he deliberately avoided going to Yendi after the murder of Ya-Naa Yakubu Andani II, Overlord of Dagbon, to allow an impartial investigation into the matter

Alhaji Malik was being cross–examined by Mr. Charles Hayibor, counsel for the defendants in an ongoing case in which General Joshua Hamidu, Alhaji Malik Yakubu, Major Suleiman and Alhaji Aminu Mohammed have sued for libel against three defendants of the Andani gate for damages.

Alhaji Malik told the court presided over by Justice George Ayittey that he delayed in going to Yendi as MP of the area and Minister of Interior to allow national security to do their investigation without any interference “I did not do anything parallel from what national security was mandated to perform” he said.

Dr. Alhassan Wayo Seini, Dr, Yahuza Gomda and Dr. Adam G. Nasser are the defendants in the libel suit.

They are alleged to have accused the plaintiffs in a series of press-conferences held in Accra of masterminding the heinous murder of the late Ya-Naa and 40 others.

In a statement of claim, the plaintiffs said that the defendants issued a press-release on Thursday, April 9, 2002 that made falsely, maliciously and libelous statements against the plaintiffs.

Alhaji Malik told the court said that he was unaware that the curfew that was imposed in Yendi was lifted by Imoro Andana, the former Northern Regional Minister and therefore a question that his lifting of the curfew was the cause of the conflict. He however admitted that it could have contributed to the foul atmosphere in Yendi.

Led in evidence by his counsel, Mr. Philip Addison, Malik had earlier denied allegations leveled against him by the defendants that he knew and orchestrated the murder of the Ya-Naa.

He told the court that at no time did he meet Prince Imoro Andani, Habib Tijani the District Chief Executive of Yendi, and the other plaintiffs to hatch the plan of the murder of the Ya-Naa and the 40 others.

On his part, Major Suleiman also rebutted the allegation that he was in Yendi and took part in the murder of the Ya-Naa.

Also led in evidence by Philip Addison, Sulieman said he had traveled to the north on a few occasions since his return from exile when the incident occurred.

He told the court that he arrived in Ghana in June 2001 from exile and that he had to proceed to the north to perform the funeral of his father and that in 2002 he was invited by an NGO in Bolgatanga. These were the only few occasions he visited the Northern Region, he said.

He also denied the allegation that he had a meeting with Prince Imoro Andani, Habib Tijani, Alhaji Aminu Mohammed, General Joshua Hamidu and the other two plaintiffs to plan the attack on the Yendi Palace.

Under cross-examination, he said that though some people called for his resignation, he declined to resign because he knew the defendants’ allegations against him were false.

On his part, Alhaji Aminu Mohammed described the late Ya-Naa Yakubu Andani as his classmate and a very good friend.

He told the court that his brother in Yendi first informed him about the crisis in Yendi and that he later heard the murder of the Ya-Naa in the media.

He told the court that he is a construction engineer and a businessman. He is neither a member of Government nor has he something to do with the Ghana Armed Forces, he also added.

He also denied the allegation that he met the other defendants, including Prince Imoro Andani, Habib Tijani to plan the dastardly act on Yendi palace