Jury Trial For Mobilla Killers
Two out of the three suspected killers of Issah Mobilla, former Northern Regional Chairman of the Convention Peoples’ Party (CPP) and a transport owner in Tamale, were yesterday put before an Accra Fast Track High Court for trial in connection with his death.
They are to be tried by a jury who will soon be empanelled to hear the case and give their verdict as to complicity or otherwise of the accused persons, Cpl Appiah Yaw and Modzaka Eric, in the murder case.
Nine witnesses have been assembled by the prosecution in a trial which is expected to end in a week as it will take expeditious hearing once the jury is empanelled. The trial would be presided over by Justice Senyo Dzamefe.
The pleas of the accused persons, who are soldiers, were not taken, neither were the charges against them read but the facts of the case were read by the Acting Director for Public Prosecutions (DPP) Gertrude Aikins.
The other accused person, Seth Goka, was said to have absconded from a military guardroom. When the trial judge enquired whether there were no guards at the guardroom, one of the military officers who brought the accused persons said they were only informed that he had gone underground when all of them were put in the guardroom previously.
Ms Aikins, who narrated events leading to the arrest of the accused persons, stated that the deceased, Issah Mobilla, was the chairman of the CPP and a transport owner who owned a fleet of buses and lived in Tamale.
She said in December 2004, Mobilla was arrested, stripped naked and detained by the police in connection with the supply of guns to help foment trouble in the area. According to her, he was later transferred on the orders of the Northern Regional Security Council to the Military Barracks in Kamina when they got a tip-off that his supporters-mostly boys-were said to be mobilising to raid the police station and free him.
The DPP noted that at the barracks, the accused persons, who were in charge of Mobilla, searched, undressed and locked him up. She added that a friend of Mobilla said he had a chat with the deceased who was hale and hearty three hours earlier and he even said he was contemplating on buying another vehicle.
She said investigations revealed that at about 8 pm that evening, he screamed from his cells that he was thirsty and was given water, but he began to feel unwell and died on his way to the hospital.
Ms Aikins said when they got to the Military Hospital, the former CPP Chairman was said to have been cold, as he died before he was brought to the hospital. The case has been adjourned to November 26, 2009. The DPP had earlier indicated that she would like the judge to have the jury confined due to the sensitive nature of the case but the judge is yet to make a decision on that.
The accused persons who were represented by Thadeus Sory have been remanded in military custody. Some sympathizers of the deceased who came all the way from Tamale as well as Inusah Fuseini, the Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, were at the court.