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General News of Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Source: GNA

Prosecution witness sheds tears at Mobilla murder trial

Accra, July 19, GNA - Abubakar Abdul Latif Sahana, a farmer at Tamale in the Northern Region, on Tuesday shed tears as he testified in the trial of the alleged killers of Alhaji Issa Mobilla, former Northern Regional Chairman of Convention People's Party (CPP). Led in evidence by Ms Merley Wood, a Chief State Attorney, Sahana said he was at the Gulpe-Na's Palace on December 9, 2004 when the deceased paid a visit and they exchanged pleasantries.

Testifying in the case in which Corporal Yaw Appiah and Private Eric Modzaka are facing two charges of conspiracy to murder and murder of Mobilla on December 9, 2004, Sahana said during a conversation with Mobilla, the deceased told him that his car had been impounded by the police on suspicion that it was carrying guns.

The third prosecution witness said he and the deceased went to the Tamale Regional Police headquarters.

On their arrival, the witness said, Mobilla was asked to give a statement and he obliged and thereafter he was offered a seat behind the counter.

Sahana said a few minutes later, he saw about 15 youth enter the Tamale Police Station and he was advised by a Police officer to leave because tension was mounting.

"When I came back to the charge office I was informed by the Police that Mobilla had been transferred to the Kamina Barracks," he said.

He said when he went to Kamina Barracks with a relative of the deceased they were not allowed to see Mobilla.

Sahana said the following day they went to the barracks to offer Mobilla breakfast, but after going through the necessary procedures "we were told we could not see the deceased."

"My Lord, before entering the barracks, I had a call from someone who informed me that during previous night he saw a body which looked like that of the deceased being dumped at the mortuary. "The caller therefore told me that when I got to the barracks I should insist on seeing Mobilla."

On realizing that he could not keep the news about the death of Mobilla to himself, he broke the news to one Tanko, a relative of the deceased, who collapsed on hearing it.

Witness said after resuscitating Tanko, they both went to the palace and informed the chief and later the father of the deceased, who was then in Burkina Faso.

Later witness said he was invited by the then Regional Minister, who informed him that Mobilla was dead.

According to the witness, the former Regional Minister, told him that the deceased was in cells and he requested for water and while drinking the water he collapsed and died.

Witness said during his visits to the mortuary, he was informed that a pathologist from Komfo Anokye Hospital had arrived to carry out an autopsy.

While narrating how the autopsy was conducted, Sahana broke down and shed tears.

Sahana told the court that he realized that seven ribs of the deceased were broken and one of his lungs was deflated. "My Lord I also saw that Mobilla had bruises all over his body but when he was leaving the house he looked cheerful and had no bruises," the witness said.

Answering questions under cross-examination, Sahana said he could not tell how and where Mobilla sustained the bruises. "I cannot also tell who inflicted the bruises on him," he added. Also to mount the witness box was Abdullah Usman, an auto mechanic who repaired Mobilla's vehicles.

Led in evidence by the prosecution, Usman told the court that he did not know the accused persons but knew the deceased. Usman said he received a call from one Issaka, secretary to the deceased, informing him (Usman) that the deceased wanted him to repair his BMW car.

The witness said he went for the car and repaired it but while conducting a test on it, the Police impounded it saying it was suspected of carrying guns.

He said when the Police searched the car they found no guns in the car= .. Usman said he called the deceased on phone and informed him about the incident and he went to the Police station.

During cross-examination, witness said: 93All I know was that Mobilla was arrested and he died."

The facts of the case are that Alhaji Mobilla was arrested by the police on December 9, 2004 for allegedly supplying the youth in Tamale with guns to foment trouble.

While in custody, the police claimed they received information that his followers and sympathisers were mobilising to free him. The deceased was consequently transferred from police cells to the Kamina Military Barracks and handed over to the three accused persons. According to the prosecution, Alhaji Mobilla died in military custody three hours after he had been handed over to the accused persons who were on duty that day.

The pathologist's report revealed that the deceased was sent to the hospital dead and that he died from multiple wounds. The accused persons have denied the charges before the reconstituted seven-member jury at the Accra Fast Track High Court presided over by Mr Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh. The case has been adjourned to Wednesday, July 20.

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