Supreme Court designate, Justice Yaw Appau has said that the trial case of the murdered overload of Dagbon, Ya-Na Yakubu Andani, is a closed chapter because there was no evidence to implicate the accused persons.
However, in the view of Mr. Appau, he cannot say for certain if the matter could be opened when there is fresh evidence.
“Looking at the facts that came before me as a Judge it is my view that it is a closed chapter. But if there are suppressed facts which other people know which I don’t know, then I cannot tell. Because the evidence before me indicated clearly that what happened within the three days that the Abudus and Andanis were fighting among themselves was a communal war”, he explained.
The Appeals Court Judge made this observation Tuesday when he appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament for questioning over some legal and other matters that are of public interest.
He told the panel chaired by the First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Ebo Barton-Oduro, that some of the issues that were reported by a section of the media were inaccurate.
For instance he said it was reported by one of the media houses that Ya-Na’s head was pierced on a spear and it was sent to an unknown place.
“The facts that were brought before me was that when the body was burnt the head was also burnt. In fact, the pathological report from 37 Military Hospital from an Indian-Ghanaian doctor, Wadwani was so clear. What happened was that after he had died and in the euphoria people were jubilating, somebody got there and when the dead body was lying there, he just cut the head”, he noted.
He added “so at the time the person cut the head, Ya-Na was already dead”.
The Sole Commissioner who ruled on the Ya-Na case argued in his submission that it is always difficult to single out individuals and charge them with the offense of murder, particularly, when people die in war.
“So, that was my conclusion. It was a jury trial and when I sum up to the jurors … they look at the facts of the case and the law that I gave to them and decided that those people were not guilty.
“In fact, one of them was discharged in the course of the trial because it turned out that he was not even at the scene … he was in the village but his name happened to be similar to a name being mentioned. So the Attorney General discharged that person and it was left with one person. And I didn’t see how one person could be charged for murdering Ya-Na because one of the charges was conspiracy. Whether one person can conspire with himself and they say he conspired with unknown persons.
“At least those that the person conspired with should be known or maybe at large. But if that person is not known… you ask who do you think he conspired with and you say I don’t know, how can that charge stand?” he said.
By: Stephen Odoi-Larbi/Kasapafmonline.com/Ghana