Two prosecution witnesses in the Ya-Na murder trial Tuesday disputed their evidence as captured in the Wuaku Commission proceedings and report on the Yendi Chieftaincy Affairs.

According to them, the Commission did not capture their testimonies correctly, which was why at a point the Andani family decided to boycott its hearings.

“The report did not capture the correct events as they unfolded at the Commission. The reason is that we the Andanis at a certain point in time decided not to go to the Wuaku Commission because the Commission did not want to hear some of the things we said about the Abudus,” claimed the third prosecution witness, Imrana Shaibu, testifying under cross-examination by lead counsel for the defence, Mr Philip Addison.

The other witness, Alhassan Yakubu, also made similar claims to rubbish the Commission’s proceedings and report when portions were read to him to contrast what he had said in his evidence-in-chief.

When counsel quoted versions of Shaibu’s own testimony before the Commission and demanded what accounted for the inconsistencies in his evidence in court and at the commission, the witness declared that what he had told the court was the truth and that what the Commission’s proceedings and report captured were false.

Counsel first asked the witness why he told the Commission that he was discharged from the hospital but testified in court that he ran away from the hospital because he felt unsafe after seeing one of the accused persons, Iddrisu Iddi, and some former government functionaries declare on GTV that they the Abudus killed the Ya-Na because the Abudus had not benefited from the Ya-Na’s 28-year reign.

When counsel asked the witness at what time he (witness) left the hospital after undergoing treatment, the witness said he ran for his life but a portion of the Commission’s report indicated that the witness was admitted on March 27, 2002 for gunshot wounds and discharged the following day, March 28, 2002.

Shaibu still maintained that the Commission’s report was false because the Commissioners wrote what they liked.

Another inconsistency regarding what the witness told the court was that he was sent by one of the late king’s children, Alhassan Andani, who was his friend, to bring his satellite dish to him in Yendi and it was while he was there that the fighting started.

However, this same evidence was captured by the Commission’s report in which the witness was reported to have said that he rather went to Yendi to collect the said dish from his friend because, according to him, his friend said the situation in Yendi was very volatile and did not know what would happen to the dish.

“Is it the same evidence in the Commission’s report?” counsel asked the witness to which he responded through his Dagbani interpreter that “All that was said in the Commission’s report are not true. What I said over there is what I have said here in court”.

At that stage, the witness decided to blame the situation on a section of the media for misreporting some of the things that he had said in court but the judge, Mr E.K. Ayebi advised him that he should not listen to or rely on whatever the media say.

The judge said if the witness needed any evidence he should apply to the court because it was not the media that was trying him. “I have told the jurors not to listen to any other evidence apart from what they hear in this court,” he said.

When counsel finally asked witness which of the two stories about the dish was true, he retorted thus: “Since the beginning of this case I said I was assisted to take it to the palace and I still stand by what I said.”

Asked farther why he was the only witness who testified about hearing a helicopter land at the Yendi airstrip during the fighting, the witness still stood his ground and said, “What I saw is what I have said”.

Regarding a testimony before the Commission that he could not identify a certain prison officer in whose quarters he and others sought refuge because he was in pain and his current evidence in court that he could identify the officer any time he saw him, the witness declared, “That is why I said they wrote what they liked”.

The witness said that he did not know Yidana Sugri but was aware that he was prosecuted for murdering the late Ya-Na and that his evidence that he saw the accused person take part in the murder of the late king was not an after-thought.

Yakubu, who is the fourth prosecution witness, told the court that at the time the event happened in 2002, he had completed school and was unemployed.

He said on March 25, 2002, he had gone to the Yendi Secondary School to call a friend by name Abdul Hafix, when he heard about the firing of guns around the palace and people saying that the Abudus had attacked the Ya-Na’s palace.

According to him, he slept in the school until the following morning when he decided to go home after the shooting had subsided and he saw other people who also went to hide in the school as a result of the shooting.

“I saw some people in possession of guns like the ones used by the police and while they were shooting, our people were also shooting back until they started burning the palace,” he said.

His story line followed that of Shaibu except that he was brief in his presentation and the fact that he was not hit by any bullet.

During cross-examination when counsel drew witness’s attention to his statement to the police on March 28, 2002, in which he said he was a student, the witness responded, “I had completed school and so the person who wrote the statement did not write it well”.

When Counsel read a portion of the Commission’s report in which the witness, as the 26th witness, said he was a student at the Yendi Secondary School, the witness replied that by that time he had completed school and that whoever wrote that did not write it well.

According to him, the Commissioners wrote whatever they liked and not what he told them, saying, “I did not say so. What I said is what I have told the court”.

He also said that he was aware that Yidana and Jahinfo were prosecuted for murdering the Ya- Na during which trial he testified that he saw Yidana with the head of the late king.

Mr Addison tendered the Commission’s report and the Government White Paper on it.

Fourteen of the accused persons have pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to murder the Ya- Na, while another person, Zakaria Yakubu, now at large, is facing one count of murder of the Ya-Na.

The accused persons are Alhaji Baba Abdulai Iddrisu, aka Zohe, Kwame Alhassan, aka Achiri, Mohamadu Abdulai, aka Samasama, Sayibu Mohammed, Alhassan Braimah, Iddrisu Iddi, and Alhaji Mohammed Habib Tijani, the former District Chief Executive (DCE) for Yendi.

The rest are Alhassan Mohammed, alias Mohammed Cheampon, Abukari Nabeli, aka Kunkakums or Kooms, Mohammed Mustapha, Yakubu Yusif, aka Leftee, Abdul Razak Yussif, aka Nyaa, and Shani Imoro.

Hearing continues Wednesday.

Source: Daily Graphic

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