You are here: HomeNews2002 06 07Article 24645

General News of Friday, 7 June 2002


Ya-Na rejected Police protection -Police

Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mr Thomas Kwaku Fokuo told the Wuaku Commission sitting in Sunyani on Thursday that the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, Paramount Chief of Dagbon Traditional Area, in January this year rejected protection offered him by the Yendi District Police Command.

DSP Fokuo, now Officer in-charge of the Brong-Ahafo Regional Motor Traffic and Transport Unit (MTTU), giving evidence before the Commission probing the Yendi tragedy, explained that on 22 February 2002 when he deployed some of his men to the Ya-Na's palace to provide security services, Ya-Na Andani drove them away saying he did not need them and that whenever he needed their services he would call them.

The Police Officer, who was then Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Commanding the Yendi District, led in evidence by Mr George Owoo, Counsel for the Commission, testified as the Commission's ninth witness. When asked by Counsel whether any incident occurred in Yendi before the celebration of the Muslim Eid-Ul-Adha in February, witness answered in the negative.

DSP Fokuo, however, added that rumours were rife that the two Gates ?Abudu and Andani were preparing to attack each other, explaining further that he got the information from informants. The Yendi District Security Committee (DISEC), therefore, met representatives of the two Gates at different times to talk to them, the DSP said.

He said on 22 February he called for extra men from the outstations to augment the strength of the Police in Yendi. "With the additional men from the other security services, I deployed men to guard vantage points in the Yendi township to prevent the agitators from carrying out their intended plans", he said. Mr Fokuo said as part of the security measures, he also deployed men to guard the Ya-Na's palace.

He continued that at one time as he drove in his private vehicle with registration number AS 1059 S he heard shouts of "Stop! Stop!" Witness said when he stopped, he saw some "wild and angry" people, including the three wives of the Ya-Na Andani, coming from the Gbewaa Palace towards him.

When counsel at this point asked him to name the three wives, Mr Fokuo could not but insisted that they were the Ya-Na's wives because he used to go to the palace and knew them very well.

DSP Fokuo said the irate youth asked him of his mission there and when he told them that he had deployed some men to guard the Palace so he wanted to find out if they were there, "they impudently told me that the Ya-Na said he did not need any security protection".

He said: "They heckled me and sensing that my life was in danger I hurriedly entered my vehicle and drove away to the District Chief Executive's (DCE's) residence". "The DCE was then not in but I had the presiding member in his house and told him of the ordeal I had gone through. "Around 2130 hours that day, I called my Superior Officer in Tamale to give him the situational report".

Mr Fokuo said the following day, 23 February he briefed the Yendi Divisional Commander Chief Superintendent Mohammed M. A. Adams, adding that, all efforts they made to get the Ya-Na to ascertain why he had rejected the security protection for him proved futile.

He said Mr Prince Imoru Andani, the ex- Northern Regional Minister, led a team of District Security Council (DISEC) members the following day to the palace in an attempt to resolve the matter.

DSP Fokuo said he later received an instruction from the Police headquarters in Accra on 28 February to proceed on transfer to Sunyani. So on 1 March with the permission of his Divisional Commander he left for Sunyani.

When Mr Justice Isaac Newton Wuaku, Chairman of the Commission, asked if he considered his transfer as punishment. The ex-Yendi District Police Commander replied in the negative, saying, "because, that is part of the job and also I had been there for three years".

DSP Fokuo explained that the bone of contention between the two Gates allegedly centred on when, where and how to perform the funeral rites of the Ya-Na Mohammed Abdulai of the Abudu Royal Gate, who died some years ago.

"In their desire to perform the funeral, the Abudus made contacts, consulting personalities, including myself, for the ideal grounds to be prepared for the ceremony", he said.

DSP Fokuo told the Commission that while the Abudus wanted to perform the funeral at the palace, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani and his elders vowed that they would never vacate the palace for that purpose.