General News of Wednesday, 16 January 2019
A prosecution witness in the trial of the 14 persons accused of murdering Major Maxwell Mahama has identified four of them as those who actively partook in the lynching of the soldier.
Solomon Sackey, a fifth prosecution witness led in his evidence-in-chief by Evelyn Keelson, a chief state attorney, told the court that he saw Bernard Asamoah alias Daddy, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Michael Anim and Akwasi Baah hit the late Major Mahama with different weapons.
He told the court that he saw Joseph Appiah Kubi hit the late soldier’s head with a block when the mob attacked him.
The court presided over Justice Mariama Owusu, an Appeal Court judge sitting as an additional High Court judge, heard that Michael Anim landed a blow on Major Mahama.
Akwasi Baah, according to the witness, also used a stick to hit the late soldier while Bernard Asamoah also hit him on the head.
Recounting his experience on that gruesome day, he told the court that he was at his carpentry shop on that day – May 29, 2017, at about 7am when he heard that a robber had been apprehended by the townsfolk.
According to him, he also picked a stick and ran to the direction of the noise ostensibly to attack the supposed robber.
“When I got there, they were still beating him so I put my stick down to go and prevent them from beating him. I decided to drop the stick because of the way they were beating him, I felt pity for him”, Solomon Sackey recounted.
He told the court that he sustained an injury on the head when he tried to prevent the mob from further beating the late soldier who was mistaken for a robber.
“I stepped aside to stop the bleeding. I wanted to go and stop them but my bleeding was too much so I couldn’t go back. I saw a lot of people; some were on motorbikes but out of them I identified Kwabena Kumdede (Joseph Appiah Kubi) who picked a block and hit him”, the witness said.
He said after the lynching, word got out that the deceased was a military person so he absconded to a friend’s house at Bogosu for fear of reprisal attacks from the soldiers.
He said he later reported himself to the police after it emerged that he appeared in the ‘lynching’ videos.
Solomon Sackey told the court that he was kept in custody and was taken to court as one of the suspects. He was later discharged of the accusations.
Private legal practitioner, Augustine Obour, lead counsel for Kwame Tuffour and Joseph Appiah Kubi asked the witness if he would agree with him that he could not mention all members of the mob who lynched Major Mahama and he said yes.
The witness also admitted that he did not see everything that transpired during the lynching of the soldier.
He also admitted under cross examination that he was also on his way to join others to attack Major Mahama.
He, however, told the court that he could not tell if any of the attackers used his stick which he left on the ground to attack the deceased.
Major Maxwell Mahama was allegedly killed by the 14 accused persons and others who were still at large at Denkyira Obuasi where he was on detachment duties.
The then army captain was on a 20-kilometre walk when he was reportedly mistaken for a thief by some women he had bought some snails from.
The women, who thought he was an armed robber after spotting his official pistol, allegedly called the assemblyman for the area (William Baah) to raise the alarm.
The assemblyman allegedly organised people in the town to lynch the soldier and later set parts of his body ablaze.