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General News of Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Source: classfmonline.com

Set up commission to probe Mahama's lynching – ASEPA

The Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) has called on government to set up a commission of enquiry to look into the murder of army Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama who has been promoted posthumously to the rank of Major.

The late soldier was lynched by a group of people at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region where he was on official duty to combat illegal small-scale mining, popularly known as galamsey.

The angry mob mistook Major Mahama for an armed robber after a snail seller spotted a pistol on him when he was reaching for his pocket to pay for snails he had bought from her while jogging on Monday 29 May.

ASEPA in a statement said there are several accounts circulating from eyewitnesses and other close sources but “we fear the police as well as the military are not being particularly thorough with the issues and the underlying conditions that preceded the brutalisation of Captain Mahama”.

To this end, ASEPA said it has become necessary to, on behalf of Ghanaians whose security is very much dependent on the outcome of these findings, to demand from the government “to set up a commission of enquiry” to produce a comprehensive report on the security conditions in the Denkyira area that preceded Captain Mahama's murder.

The statement noted that it is not enough to arrest the perpetrators, instead questioning how government was assessing the entire situation from the angle of security, social reform, and social protection such that such a situation does not arise in the future.

According to ASEPA, justice for Captain Mahama includes the government being transparent with issues and admitting guilt where it is necessary and finding ways to avert similar situations.

“We also want the Ghana Armed Forces to respond immediately to the audio circulating on social media about the alleged meeting between four military officers with the people of Denkyira-Obuasi before the encounter with [Captain] Mahama that led to his death,” the statement noted, adding: “These are very delicate issues that border on trust of the leadership of our security services and it will be more dangerous for the public and the international media to assume that the Ghana Armed Forces is complicit in this heinous injustice.”

ASEPA is of the view that a commission of enquiry is what will produce a detailed and comprehensive report on the situation and guide government to perhaps re-strategize its anti-galamsey approach and adopt policies that will prevent future occurrences.