Ya-Na’s Spirit haunts Kufuor & Co (3)
Nobody saw the head “walking” or “flying” to that place. But from the day of decapitation up to the seventh day when the head was found “sitting” or lying exactly where it had been severed from the body of the Ya-Na, soldiers and police were on guard duty 24 hours.
Further, curfew had been in place from 6.p.m. to 6 a.m., during the seven days.
The severed arm, in the possession of Yidana Sugri who danced with the arm in the company of many members of the Abudu family on 27th March also strangely “travelled” to or “flew” to where it had been severed from the body of the Ya-Na.
It also “walked,” or “travelled,” or “flew” to Gbewaa Palace and lay side by side with the head of the Ya-Na. No soldier or policeman on guard duties for the 24 hours saw the arm “coming” or “flying” to that place during the curfew hours or during the hours of broad daylight.
The government wants us, the Andani family, the good people of Ghana, and the international community to believe this fanatic fable. Government and the security agencies certainly know how the head and arm of the Ya-Na got to Gbewaa Palace. They also know where “they” spent the seven days and with whom they spent the seven days, and who took the head and the arm back to Gbewaa Palace.
The culpability of the government, the then Minister of Interior, the District Chief Executive for Yendi, the police, and Army personnel in the mysterious journey of the arm and the head of the Ya-Na to Gbewaa Palace cannot de doubted.
The Wuaku Commission which was appointed “to faith-fully and impartially inquire into the circumstances of and to establish the fact in the heinous crimes commited at Yendi” never called any witness nor asked anybody any question concerning the mysterious return of the Ya-Na's head and arm to Gbewaa Palace. Why should a retired Supreme Court Judge and University Professor fail to find this primary and important fact?
Either they willingly and intentionally decided to hide that fact or they were requested by the government to refrain from establishing that fact.” And in the view of observes “No right thinking Ghanaian will refuse to see the hand of some government functionaries in the murder of the King.
Indeed, the fact that the government is protecting the murders also indicates that the government was an interested party in the murder. Almost two years after that most gruesome murder, the government cannot find the killers! Why? Indeed government seems to have abandoned the searches for the killers.”
This view of some observes on the murder of the Ya-Na were expressed two years after the gruesome murder. Now that six years have passed and the government has not found the murderers, the views of those observes are more than justified.
Indeed the views are fortified by the good deal of water that has run under the bridge since 2002. And since no sane man on earth will accept the claim of the police investigating officers that they retrieved the severed arm and decapitated head of the Ya-Na from the same spot that the main mutilated body of the Ya-Na lay on 27th March, 2002, the Andani family and human right activists are patiently waiting for the police to tell the world from whom they retrieved the stolen parts.
Another major case of the police cover-up scheme relates to the arrest of Yidana Sugri. On Tuesday 2nd April one of the victims of the violence in Yendi, Amadu Abukari, saw Yidana Sugri at Tamale Abaabu Market. Yidana Sugri was a prime suspect in the murder of the Ya-Na. Amadu Abukari, being firmly of the opinion that if he and the local people arrested Yidana Sugri without the police, Yidana Sugri might by lynched, decided to go and call the police.
Yidana Sugri seeing that Amadu Abukari, whom he knew very well, had watched his movement for sometime decided to escape. He immediately left the market when he saw Amadu leaving the market.
He went to Tamale –Yendi police barrier to wait there for any vehicle that was Yendi bound. When Amadu got the police and they went to Abaabu Market Yidana was nowhere to be seen. Amadu, also suspecting that Yidana Sugri might have gone to the Tamale-Yendi barrier (a distance of three miles) to escape arrest, moved with the police to the barrier.
AS soon as Amadu and the police arrived at the barrier and Yidana saw them, he took to his heels with one other person who came from Yendi with him. Both of them were chased and arrested. Before their arrest Amadu had made it known to the police on the 27th March, 2002 he saw Yidana Sugri in Yendi holding the severed arm of the Ya-Na.
After the arrest of Yidana and his colleague, one Baba Mohammed, on 2nd April, 2002, the police did not question them until the eight day of their arrest. The excessive period of time undoubtedly gave the suspects enough time to reflect on what to tell the police. More often than not, in such cases, suspects deny their involvement in the suspected crime and they manufactured stories to tell police investigators.
This is why under police criminal procedure rules, suspects who are arrested unless they are unwell at the time of their arrest should be questioned at the earliest opportunity about their involvement in the crime or crimes they are alleged to have committed.
The unnecessarily long period the police had allowed to elapse before they questioned Yidana Sugri cannot be anything but be seen as part of their scheme to cover-up the murder of the Ya-Na. Yidana Sugri, having been allowed so many days to reflect on what to tell the police, denied his involvement when he was questioned on 12th April, 2002.
He maintained his innocence when on two other occasions he was again questioned by the police. Once the suspect was not being kept incommunicado, outside influence were bound to let him deny the heinous crime that carries a sentence of death.
Apart from failing to question Yidana in good time the police investigators failed or refused to do things that are absolutely necessary in the investigation of a murder case. The police should have immediately taken Yidana to Yendi that day or the next day to search his premises. This is a requirement in police criminal investigations.
The search could reveal some vital evidence against Yidana. In such searches, the evidence the police look for include (a) weapons used in the murder, (b) bloodstains from the deceased, (c) property of the deceased that the suspect might have taken to his house. In Yidana's case the matter was indeed urgent since the complainant, Amadu, told the police that Yidana Sugri was seen on the day of the murder of the Ya-Na with the Ya-Na's severed arm which had on it a wrist watch.
The probability of finding bloodstains was high. Secondly the wrist watch was a property to be looked for. Then finally a weapon used in the murder should have been looked for. The police failure to do these things was not a dereliction of duty but a huge cover-up in favor of the murderers of the Ya-Na.
Another surprising thing which the police failed to do is the revelation from Amadu Abukari that police never allowed him to confront Yidana while he was in police custody. So Amadu did not know whether Yidana had been released after his arrest or he was in custody.
What investigations did the police do in the case of this important suspect? Apart from taking Yidana's statement, the police did practically nothing! Police had not looked for the necessary evidence and they covered up every conceivable evidence. It was therefore no surprise that Yidana was acquitted and discharged when he was charged with the murder of the Ya-Na.
Apart from the refusal of police to speak the truth about their recovery of stolen limbs of the Ya-Na, the most outstanding of their cover-up plan relates to their refusal to arrest any suspect involved in the murder of the Ya-Na and the carnage.
Throughout their investigations into the murder of the Ya-Na and thirty others the police did not arrest anyone of the about fifty or so persons who were suspects in the murder of the Ya-Na and the Yendi carnage.
The case of Yidana Sugri which we have just dealt with the Inspector General of Police ordered the police not to arrest any suspect in the murder of the Ya-Na again. It was certainly the revelation in that most important statement of Yidana Sugri which prompted the government and the Inspector-General of Police to issue the “order-of-no arrest.” As we noted earlier, that statement for the first time threw light on who had possession of the decapitated head of the Ya-Na on 27th March after its decapitation.
And as we have also noted the police told an incredible story to the pathologist who performed autopsy on the corpse of the late King of Dagbon to cover up the murder of the Ya-Na. Yidana Sugri's revelation regarding the movement of the decapitated head of the Ya-Na constituted a yawing crack in the cover-up story of the police.
The government and the I. G. P did not want any further damaging revelations which might arise from any other arrest of suspects. Prohibiting further arrests of suspects was, therefore, the remedy.
When the Andani family demanded to know why the police were not arresting suspects in the murder of the Ya-Na they were told to ask the Inspector General of Police who had ordered them not to arrest any suspect in the case.
This was an unprecedented matter in the history of the Ghana Police Service. From the days of Gold Coast Police Force to the eve of the murder of the Ya-Na, Gold Coasters and Ghanaians had never heard of a criminal case, particularly murder in which the I.G.P ordered the police not to arrest suspects in the case. That extraordinary order of the Inspector General cannot even be described as bending the rules to achieve a desired goal. It was an order setting aside the time-honoree rules and regulations of our criminal law system.
The order was obviously unlawful. But the Andani family traumatized by the unprecedented murder of their King made no effort to have the illegal order set aside by High Court which vested with jurisdiction to do so. So the police investigator in the murder and the carnage carried out the letter that unlawful order of their boss.