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Court to rule on bail application of alleged killers of Ya-Na
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General News of Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Source: GNA

Court to rule on bail application of alleged killers of Ya-Na

Accra, April 27, GNA - The Human Rights Court will on Tuesday, May 1= 8, rule on a bail application put in by nine persons allegedly connected to the death of the Dagbon King, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II and some of his elders. This was after the court presided over by Mr Justice U.P. Dery, had listened to the arguments of the state and defence in respect of the bail=

application.

The nine are Alhaji Baba Iddrisu Abdalla, 54, Kwame Alhaasan, 53, Mohamm= ed Kojo, 45, Mohammadu Abdulai, 57, Saibu Mohammed, 34, Yakubu Mohammed, 42,=

and Alhasaan Briamah, 40.

Yidana Sugri, 42, who was jointly charged with Iddrisu Janfo for conspiracy and murdering the Ya-Na but was acquitted and discharged by an=

Accra Fast Track High Court (AFTHC) in 2003, is now being held for allege= dly training people for military exercise. Iddrisu Iddi aged 76, who was absent in Court today, is said to be on admission. The nine contended that their rights had been violated after an Accr= a District Magistrate's Court on April 12 remanded them in custody for a month. Arguing on behalf of the accused, Mr Samuel Atta-Akyea, who lead the defence team said the accused persons had been unjustifiable remanded by the District Court presided over by Ms Patricia Quansah. "If you go through the records, the judge only adopted the facts and remanded the accused persons, the judge was mislead to believe that this was the case of murder" he pointed out. Mr Atta-Akyea said no proper charges had been preferred against the accu= sed persons adding that the facts before the court only traced the history of=

the fight between Abudu's and Andani's. According to him no proper processes had been taken by the state in resp= ect of the case adding they were only experimenting with the rights and liberties of human beings. "If the state should play with the liberty of individuals in this manner= , then we have a long way to go," he remarked.

According to him, the facts presented before the lower court did not in=

any way connected the accused to the death of the King of Dagbon. "You should not bring somebody before the court without a cogent and compelling evidence to merit a remand," he said. Mr Atta-Akyea said it was sad for the state to remand the accused and inform the court that investigations were on going.

He said there was no way the nine accused were going to interfere with investigations of the Bureau of National Investigations, National Securit= y and the Ghana Police Service and prayed the court to grant them bail. In the case of Yidana Sugri, Mr Atta-Akyea said he could not suffer "dou= ble jeopardy" as he had been acquitted and discharged by a court of competent=

jurisdiction.

"How can you secure the co-operation of a man whose rights had been violated?" he asked. He contended that no bill of indictment and summary of evidence had been=

prepared saying it was when those were done that the accused could be committed to stand trial. He said: "When people are unjustifiably arrested, that could fuel unrest= ," and urged the court to admit them to bail. Mr Rexford Wiredu Principal State Attorney vehemently opposed to th= e bail application saying the accused persons had been properly charged add= ing the state was preparing a bill of indictment and summary of evidence. Mr Wiredu said more time was needed to prepare the bill of indictment an= d summary of evidence. The Principal State Attorney disclosed that more people were going to be=

rounded up and they needed not to let loose the accused persons whom when=

granted bail would interfere with investigations.

He refuted defence counsel's claim that the accused persons were used a= s guinea pigs, adding, "We are trying to secure peace for the majority." Mr Wiredu said the state was relying on the Wuaku Commission's Report, adding to prevent tension in the area, bail should not be granted to the accused persons. He contended that it was not possible for the state to arrest and comple= te investigation within the 48 hour constitutional requirements. He said although the investigations were saddled with some constraints, the team was working on the case as fast as possible.

According to him, the law prohibited the courts from granting bail to th= e accused persons, who were facing a charge of murder. In the case of Yidana, Mr Wiredu contended that he had not suffered "dou= ble jeopardy," explaining that the charge he faced earlier on and now, were different. Sympathizers, who thronged the court carried placards some of which read= : "President Rawlings, this is the time to provide your evidence," "No Justice, No peace in Dagbon," "Human Rights, Please save Dagbon." Others read: "It was a war not murder;" "Ya-Na caused his own death." On April 12, this year, accused persons were put before the Adjabeng District Magistrate Court on charges of Conspiracy to murder and murder. They were remanded into police custody pending further investigations in= to the matter. They are expected to reappear on May 5 2010. It would be recalled that in March 2002, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, an= d some of his elders were killed following a clash between the two royal ga= tes in Dagbon, the Abudus and Andanis.

After the clash, Janfo and Sugri were arrested and put before an AF= THC for the alleged murder of the Ya-Na and his elders, but were acquitted an= d discharged. In a fresh attempt by government and security agencies to find the murderers of the Ya-Na, 41 persons were rounded up at Yendi in a dawn swo= op on Saturday, April 10. After screening them in Bimbilla, 33 were granted self recognisance=

bail, while the rest were escorted to Accra and put before Court.

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