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xxxxxxxxxxx of Thursday, 22 June 2017


The Denkyira Obuasi parade: 25 faces of pain and fear as murder trial begins

Some 26 residents of Denkyira Obuasi in the Central Region, made a long contemplative walk over a short distance into a District Court in Accra as suspects in the Major Maxwell Mahama trial.

A huge blue van pulled up in front of the court containing caged men and women including one teenager.

A litany of photojournalists lined up by the side to create a sandy red carpet for that emotional walk into the court room.

Cameras clicked and shuttered at them like barking dogs as frenzied photojournalists captured much clearer images of persons believed to be in that hazy video in which some residents lynched the Army captain.
The tragedy shook the nation. The trial has shaken Denkyira Obuasi reported to be a ghost town since the military stormed the town in a brutal shake-out of suspects.

A woman stood by the door of the van to make a step down as CID operatives circled round to grab them down.

Her head hanged and held by the door.

Her face was etched with pain and fear and deep uncertainty over her fate. She would have replayed the incident and her whereabout that day.
The 'ifs, what ifs, should have, could have' questions assaulted her mind. Several of the women were close to tears.

A man lifted up his eyes presumably 'to the hills' wondering where his help will come from.

The Assembly man fingered as a key actor in the crime had a bottled calmness.

While the woman suspected to have lighted a fire to burn or as some claim, took a picture of the lynched soldier walked with the pressure of a sheep among hungry wolves.

The state prosecutors handling the case pleaded that the three charge sheets before the court be consolidated into one with the accused persons charged with conspiracy to commit murder and murder.

Twenty-six other suspects were discharged but immediately re-arrested for the police to carry out further investigation.

Ghana's criminal trial process is tortorous and moving from the cells to court and court to cells can be a terribly frustrating experience.

To give an idea of how time-consuming the process could prove to be, the trial of the murdered New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament, Joseph Boakye Danquah Adu, has ran for over a year. It has been stopped for another re-start as the state launches fresh investigations.

The 26 suspects went back into their blue cage in the van. It won't be the last time they go back to the cells.

As they prepared to be shut in, journalists longed for a parting comment from the Assemblyman accused of instigating that fatal attack on the Captain promoted posthmously to Major following the lynching.