Seven more people who were arrested for their alleged involvement in the murder of Ya-Na Yakubu Andani ΙΙ, the overlord of Dagbon, were yesterday committed to stand trial at the Accra High Court by the Adjabeg District Magistrate Court in Accra.
That was after the court has said that in its opinion there was a case for the suspects to answer in relation to the charges leveled against them. The committal of the seven means that all the 14 suspects who were arrested had been committed for trial at the Accra High Court at a date and time to be specified by the court.
The presiding Magistrate, Patricia Quansah, announced that the two cases would be consolidated and forwarded to the High Court. Those committed yesterday included Alhassan Mohammed alias Mohammed Cheampon, Abubakari Nabeli aka Nyaa,Zakaria Yakubu, aka Zakaria Forest, alias Mbadugu, and Shani Imoro.
After a brief address by the Director of Public Prosecutions, Ms Gertrude Aikins, the defense counsel did not make any response; beyond saying they had received the necessary documents.
Ms. Aikns indicated that the evidence would be led to show that Nabeli alias Kooms, who had held two used lorry tyres at the time of the incident, had put them on the body of the Ya-Na, while Mustapha held a gallon of petrol on the body to set it ablaze.
She said Yusif had also held a gun by the body and that Yakubu had been seen with a Dolmar machine. Abdul Yussif, she said, had also been seen holding a camera and taking pictures of the scene and that after all that another group of men, including the suspects led by Iddi, had drummed, sang and danced around the burning body.
Before the suspects were committed, the magistrate asked whether they had received copies of the bill of indictment and summary of evidence to which their counsel, Abukari Abdulai, responded in the affirmative.
She also asked whether they had anything to say in respect of the charges and any plea of alibi but they said they would rely on their earlier statements to the police.
According to the fats of the case, the two Royal Gates to the Dagbon paramount skin, namely, Andani and Abudu, succeeded to the skin on a rotational basis.
The DPP said, however, that system was disrupted in 1969, bringing about protracted litigation between the two gates, which led to the de-skinment of the Late Ya-Na Mahamadu Abdulai IV and the enskinment of the late Ya-Na Yakubu Andani.
During the celebration of the ‘Eid-ul-Adha’ festival in February 2002, she said, disturbances erupted in Yendi and intelligence reports indicated that arms had been smuggled into the town by the two gates.
The District Security Committee (DISEC) imposed a curfew and placed a ban on the celebration of the Bugum (fire) festival. An approval of the imposition of the curfew was given by the Regional Security Council (REGSEC) on 23rd March, 2002.
While the Abudu Gate embraced the decision, the Ya-Na saw it as an affront to his position and on March 25, 2002, he decided to invite his elders to the Gbewaa Palce by sending Ziblim Abdulai to call Mbadugu, Dugu-Lan.
While returning with Mbadugu,Dugu-Lan,Ziblim Abdulai was attacked and assaulted by some Abudu youth. The attack by the Abudus was followed by sporadic shooting at the Gbewaa Palace later in the day, which intensified in the evening, leading to the death of some of the elders who were in the palace.
About 30 people lost their lives, with many others hospitalized for all kinds of injury. The situation worsened on the subsequent days, that is 26th and 27th March, 2002.
On March 27, 2002, the Gbewaa Palace fell to the Abudus. The palace was set ablaze and the shooting intensified, leading to many deaths. When some of the elders in the palace attempted to escape, they were shot dead. The DPP said Zakaria Yakubu, now at large, was seen by witnesses in this case decapitating Ya-Na Yakubu Andani near a kraal, after the Ya-Na had been dragged there by Mahamadu Abdulai and Shani Imoro.
On June 28, 2010, six people, namely, Alhaji Baba Abdulai Iddrisu, aka Samasama, Sayibu Mohammed, Alhassan Baimah and Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, 45, a former District Chief Executive (DCE) for Yendi during the NPP regime, were indicted at the Adjabeng Magistrate Court in Accra. Iddrisu Iddi, who was on admission at the Police hospital in Accra the last adjourned date, later appeared in court and was also committed to the High Court for trial.
Source: Daily Graphic