The Human Rights Court has fixed May 18, 2010 to rule on the bail application for the nine people charged for the murder of the late King of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani II, and a number of his elders.

The court, presided over by Mr. Justice V.P. Dery, fixed the date after hearing submissions from counsel for the accused and the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Ms Gertrude Aikins.

Counsel for the accused persons, Messrs Atta Akyea and Kwame Aduabeng Yankyera, filed an application at the Human Rights Court seeking bail for the accused persons when they were remanded into police custody by the Adjabeng Magistrate Court.

But the State; which was represented by the DPP and a Principal State Attorney, Mr Anthony Wiredu, also filed an affidavit against the bail application for the accused persons.

The accused persons are lddrisu lddi, alias Mbadugu, 76; Alhaji Baba Abdulai Iddrisu, 56; Kwame Alhassan, 53; Yidana Sugri, 42; Mohammed Kojo, 45; Mohammed Abdulai, alias Samasaina, 57; Sayibu Mohammed, 34; Yakubu Mahamadu, alias Anafo, 42, and Alhassan Braimah, 40.

The nine were charged variously with conspiracy to commit murder, murder and unlawful military training. Their pleas were not taken and they will reappear before the Adjabeng Court on May 5.

Mr Akyea, who moved the motion for the bail application, said the applicants had unjustifiably been remanded by the Magistrate Court, since they had not even been charged.

He said it was a travesty of justice if the State played with the liberties of individuals, adding that no matter the fever pitch that the Ya-Na’s killing could reach, that should not be the basis for the people to be arrested before investigations were conducted.

He said it was an indictment on the security set up to say that the applicants pose a threat to peace and security in the area or that they would interfere with the investigations.

“Mr Akyea referred to Article 96 (4) of the Constitution which stated that a court should not refuse bail as a form of punishment but only if the accused person had the capacity to interfere with investigations”.

He said the accused persons were law-abiding .citizens and that “there is no way the applicants can pit their strengths against the national security”.

Mr Akyea said it was wrong to have arrested Yidana Sugri over the murder of the Ya-Na and some of his “elders, since he (Yidana) had been tried, acquitted and discharged on the same offence.

Mr Wiredu, however, indicated that the applicants had been charged for conspiracy to commit murder, murder and unlawful military training.

He said Yidana’s charge was different from the earlier one he had faced and indicated that he (Yidana) faced a charge of organising military training which had not been included in his earlier charges.

Mr Wiredu said Article 19 (7) of the Constitution stated .that persons accused of committing murder, rape or treason should not been granted bail and that “no discretional power can be exercised and bail is mandatory prohibitive”.

Ms Aikins drew the attention 01 the court to the fact that the accused persons could not be charged within 48 hours of their arrest, since it was not possible to complete investigations and put charges on them.

She said the accused persons had been remanded because they were from the Northern Region, while the investigators were in Accra.

She, therefore, asked the court to maintain the status quo ante that bail should not be granted”.

Mr Yankyera said the District Magistrate Court judge should .have proved that the applicants were linked to the death of the Ya-Na and a number of his elders.

He said the arrest of the accused persons had no basis in law, since they were not linked to the murder of the Ya-Na.

Source: Daily Graphic