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Crime & Punishment of Wednesday, 17 April 2019


l was not negligent in using a piece of paper at the crime scene - Witness

The late Major Mahama The late Major Mahama

Mr Dickson Akyamfour Duah, a Detective Sergeant, has told an Accra High Court trying the alleged murderers of the late Major Maxwell Mahama, that he was not negligent in using a piece of paper to take records at the crime scene.

He said he left his pocket notebook, when he started the investigations because the information came as an emergency, when he was out of the office.

Mr Duah, who is the Ninth Prosecution Witness in his evidence in chief led by Ms Enam Loh Mensah, Senior State Attorney said he is a Police Officer stationed at Deiso in the Denkyira West District of the Central Region.

He said on the fateful date of May 29, when the incidence happened, he was on duty at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Office, when his District Officer called him to his Office.

He said his District Officer by name DSP Osei Adu Agyemen told him that he had gathered intelligence that a suspect, Yaw Amankwah, now at large had used a single barrel gun to attack the late Mahama.

The Detective Sergeant, who had worked for the past 13 years and had been at the Deiso Police Station for three years, said they then mobilized some men and drove to Denkyira-Obuasi and on arrival, he went straight to Yaw’s house but did not meet anyone there but the door was widely opened.

“I, therefore, entered and began to search the room, where l saw the supposed gun, which l retrieved,” he added.

Mr Duah said the gun was forwarded to the CID headquarters, because the case itself was later referred to there for further investigations.
The Witness further identified the gun in open court.

During cross-examination by Patrick Anim Addo, Counsel for Bismarck Abanga, and Kwadwo Anima who asked how many statements, the witness made in connection with the case of which he said was two.

Counsel asked further whether in the two statements, he only wrote about the retrieval of the gun from Yaw’s room and nothing else of which he answered in the negative.

The witness recap, other things he wrote in the statement by saying on May 29 at about 1930 hours, he was at the Station with the Station Officer, when four Military men came and enquired to see his District Officer.

He said the leader of the four men told his District Officer that their Commander, the late Major Mahama went for jogging in the morning but has since not returned and that information they were hearing indicated that an alleged robber had been lynched and that they strongly believed that he might be the supposedly alleged robber.

“There they lodged a complaint and left,” he said.

The Counsel asked, whether the witness knew there were Military personnel in the area and he answered in the affirmative. Saying “l know there is a detachment in the area.”

“What did you do next after the complaint,” Mr Addo asked and the witness said my District Officer, myself and two others left for Denkyira-Obausi around 2030 hours.

The witness said they went to the town to enquire about the complaint made by the Military, for which we were told that truly someone was lynched and that the body has been deposited at Dunkwa-On-Offin.

He said they also got to know that someone was shot as a result of a struggle between the deceased and the victim.

Asked, why the witness did not tell the court all these initially, until he was questioned, he said the Prosecution made him to know that he would only give evidence on the retrieval of the gun.

The Counsel suggested to the witness that he was asked to omit that aspect of his evidence but he disagreed.

Mr George Bernard Shaw, Counsel for William Baah in further cross-examination asked the witness, whether he knew the importance of a Police pocket notebook and he said it was one of the accoutrements used to jot down important points in investigation.

“Do you know it is a professional mistake at the highest level to conduct an investigation or go to crime scenes without the pocket notebook,” the Counsel enquires but the witness said sometimes, when there was an emergency, which they needed to respond to they go and later record in the Station Diary.

He told the court that at the crime scene, he got a piece of paper that he jotted a few important points on and later recorded it into the Station Diary.

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 Wednesday, April 17, for further cross-examination.

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