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Crime & Punishment of Friday, 5 April 2019

Source: ghananewsagency.org

Major Mahama: State presents eighth prosecution witness

The State on Wednesday presented its eighth prosecution witness in the trial of the alleged murderers of the late Major Maxwell Mahama.

Mr Solomon Sakyiamah, a Detective Sergeant, who was giving his evidence in Chief, was led by Mrs Frances Mullen Ansah, Principal State Attorney, told the court that he was stationed at Denkyira Domenase.

He said on that fateful day of May 29, 2017, he was at the police station, when he received a phone call from a friend called Big Alhaji that he was on his way to Deiso and upon getting to Denkyira Obuasi junction, he was stopped by a farmer that an armed robber has entered into the town, so he should not go further, hence he needed police assistance.

He said together with other colleagues - Corporal Kofi Sarpong and his Station Master, Chief Inspector John Otoo proceeded to the town.

The Prosecution witness said he called one Police officer at Denkyira Obuasi to inform him of the news, since that area does not fall under his jurisdiction to mobilise his men.

He said when they got to the scene, they saw a lot of people standing on both shoulders of the road and immediately saw a male adult lying on the floor with a burning Tee-shirt on his chest and a cement block on his shoulder.

He said upon seeing that, they drew closer to the body and, “we saw there are multiple marks of assault all over the body.”

Mr Sakyiamah said there were marks of violence on the body with blood oozing from the nose and mouth and he was motionless.

He said at that moment, Corporal Sarpong used a stick to remove the burnt Tee-shirt from the body and that was captured in a photograph.

The Witness said at the scene, they got to know that someone was shot in the process and was receiving treatment at the clinic, so they followed up on the person, where they got to know he was a young man by name Amass.

“Amass told us that it was the late Major Mahama, who shot him, when he wanted to take the pistol from him from behind,” he said.

The Detective Sergeant said upon their return to the scene, they met the Deiso Police Station Master in the company of the Assemblyman, one of the accused persons, where they handed over all information picked at the scene of crime and the photographs taken and left.

In cross-examination, Mr Bernard Shaw, Counsel for William Baah and others asked the witness, what was he supposed to do upon getting to the crime scene.

The witness said, he was supposed to cordon off the scene for security reasons before the commencement of investigations.

Asked why the crime scene was not cordoned, the witness told the court that when he received the call from the informant, details of the happenings were not given, hence much preparation was not done.

The counsel further asked the witness why Corporal Sarpong tampered with evidence of removing the T-shirt, but he said it was to avoid the burning of the whole body and also to enable them to take some pictures to serve as evidence.

Fourteen persons are standing trial at an Accra High Court over the killing of Major Mahama, who was an officer of the 5th Infantry Battalion, at Burma Camp.

The late Major was on duty at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region when on May 29, 2017 some residents allegedly mistook him for an armed robber and lynched him.

The mob had ignored his persistent plea that he was an officer of the Ghana Armed Forces.

The accused are William Baah, the Assemblyman of Denkyira Obuasi, Bernard Asamoah alias Daddy, Kofi Nyame a.k.a Abortion, Akwasi Boah, Kwame Tuffour, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Michael Anim and Bismarck Donkor.

Others are John Bosie, Akwasi Baah, Charles Kwaning, Emmanuel Badu, Bismarck Abanga and Kwadwo Anima.

The Court presided over by Justice Mariama Owusu, adjourned the matter to Thursday, April 4, for continuation