Ya Naa ruling was awful – Justice Kpegah

A retired Supreme Court Judge, Justice F.Y Kpegah has criticised the High Court ruling that acquitted and discharged some 15 persons suspected to have murdered the overlord of Dagbon, Ya-Naa Yakubu Andani in 2002.

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He said the ruling by Justice E.K Ayebi was awful, adding that the judge was totally confused by the case and failed to get the reasoning on how to give his ruling on the Ya-Naa case.

He added that if the ruling by the judge was submitted to his desk for promotion as is done by judges, he would have awarded Justice Ayebi less than one percent due to his poor ruling on the case.

An Accra Fast Track High Court on Tuesday March 29, acquitted and discharged all the 15 accused persons on trial for the murder of Ya Na Yakubu Andani II. They were acquitted and discharged on three counts of rioting, conspiracy to murder and murder.

In its ruling, the court presided over by Mr Justice E.K. Ayebi said facts presented by the prosecution had no locus and failed to establish any complicity of the accused persons in the murder of the Ya Na.

However, speaking on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana show on Tuesday, April 5, Justice Kpegah described the ruling by Justice Ayebi as a “bad ruling” adding that there was enough evidence that could have been used to convict the 15 accused persons who were standing trial.

Justice Kpegah said the suspects should have been convicted based on the circumstantial evidence available. He added that the trial of the Ya-Naa should be de-politicised so the matter can be resolved amicably.

“They should not have been acquitted…someone must be held accountable for this. What has happened in this case must not be politicised…there is enough evidence against them (14 accused persons)” he stated.

Justice Kpegah urged President Mills to set up a presidential commission to launch fresh investigations into the Ya-Naa murder case so the culprits are brought to book.

However, a legal practitioner and a panel member on the show, Nana Asante Bediatuo argued otherwise.

According to him, there was nothing wrong with judge Ayebi’s ruling because in his opinion the prosecution failed to convince the court that either by agreement or in acting together, there was a conspiracy by the 15 accused persons to commit murder.

He added that according to the ruling by the High Court, it is clear that the prosecution failed to bring enough circumstantial evidence to convict the accused persons hence their release.

“These folks have been charged with conspiracy to murder and murder. The evidence provided by the prosecution was to the extent that the charred body which the autopsy was performed on was never proven to be that of the Ya-Na…this they (prosecution) failed to do”.