At last 19 persons, including one woman, have been charged by the state over the murder of Major Maxwell Adam Mahama at Denkyira-Obuase in the Central Region.
They are among 32 suspected persons initially dragged before the Accra Central District Court for allegedly playing various roles in the gruesome murder of the 5 Battalion of Infantry soldier on May 29, 2017.
Major Mahama was the commander of a military detachment stationed at Diaso in the Upper Denkyira West District of the Central Region that was to check the activities of illegal miners (galamseyers).
They were provisionally charged with conspiracy to murder and murder.
The accused persons are William Baah aka Misky, teacher/assemblyman of the area; Yaw Annor aka Agbahowa, mason; Akwasi Baah aka Baya, farmer; Kwame Tuffour aka Asowonan, driver; Akwasi Asante, farmer; Joseph Appiah Kubi aka Kum Dede, driver; Kwadwo Animah, mason; Philip Badu, prisons assistant; Kofi Nyame aka Abortion, farmer and Michael Anim aka Nana Anim.
The rest are Bernard Asamoah aka Daddy, driver’s mate; Ebenezer Appiah aka Akwesi Adjei; Charles Quainin aka Kwesi Boah, vulcanizer; Anthony Amoah aka Kwaku Manu/Amis, Okada operator; Bismark Donkor aka Dada, farmer; Kwame Agyei, farmer; Solomon Sackey, carpenter; John Bosie aka Abodie, driver’s mate and Vivian Sahene aka Mafia, unemployed.
According to the prosecutor, DSP George Amegah, the accused persons and 13 others currently at large acted together with a common purpose to murder the soldier.
The police are currently on the heels of Yaw Amankwah, Kwadjo Fordjour, Kwabena Kenkeba, Tikwa, Yaw Boadu, Fuseini, Madam Deedikor, Eric Asante aka Yaw Agade, Nana Kwadjo aka Naa Ajo, Kweku Diesel, Kofi Ahenkora, Solo, Rasta and Wiser.
At yesterday’s hearing, DSP George Amegah informed the court that 19 out of the 32 suspects earlier arraigned before the court could be tried.
He explained that the prosecution was going to use the remaining 13 as witnesses for which reason the court must discharge them.
He claimed that further investigations into the case cleared the 13 persons.
DSP Amegah told the court, presided over by Ebenezer Kweku Ansah, that it had at its previous sitting ordered the prosecution to conduct further investigations into the background of Bernard Asamoah – one of the accused persons.
The accused had sought to create the impression that he is a minor.
On that, the prosecution said the investigators visited New Obuase Catholic School – the school Bernard attended – and spoke with one Sylvester Owusu who in turn directed them (police) to the Circuit Education Officer.
DSP Amegah stated that the officer revealed that Bernard completed junior high school (JHS) education in 2015.
The prosecutor said the date Bernard was sent to the school indicated that he was born in April 1995, bringing his age to 22 years.
“The accused person is 22 years per his educational records and that was also confirmed by his father who is also in this case,” the senior police officer indicated.
He added “The young boy only wanted to throw dust into the eyes of the court to be given preferential treatment; his juvenile days are long gone.”
DSP Amegah urged the court to remand the accused persons into police custody as further investigations into the case continued.
He said the accused persons had been very helpful to the prosecution because they had been forthcoming with information which culminated in the discharge of the 13.
George Benard Shaw, lawyer for six of the accused persons, said he would not apply for bail because it was in the best interest of his clients to be in police custody.
He said the prosecution must provide them (defence team) with a copy of the amended charge sheet.
In a rather very strange twist, Charles Owusu Juanah, who is among the lawyers for the six persons and is expected to make a submission on behalf of his clients, vented his spleen on journalists in the court.
He stated that the media had been very “unreasonable” in the reportage of the case.
Although he failed to cite a single instance when journalists had been “unreasonable,” he urged the court to make specific orders directed at the media that are covering the matter.
He cautioned the media to be circumspect in their reportage.
Hearing continues on July 19.
On Monday, May 29, 2017, at about 8am, Major (the Captain) Maxwell Mahama left the detachment base for a 20-kilometer jogging.
At about 9:25 am, he got to the outskirts of Denkyira-Obuasi where a number of women were selling food items by the roadside.
The soldier reportedly stopped to interact with the women and even bought some snails which he left with the women with intent to collect them on his return from the exercise.
While the military man was taking the money from his pocket to pay for the snails, the woman from whom he bought them and a few others saw his sidearm tucked on his waist and soon after he had left, one of the women telephoned the assemblyman of the area, William Baah, to report what she had seen.
Without verifying the information, William Baah reportedly mobilized the town folks to attack a suspected armed robber who had been sighted by the traders on the outskirt of the town.
The accused persons met Major Mahama near the Denkyira-Obuase cemetery, and without giving him the opportunity to identify himself, attacked him with clubs, concrete blocks and machetes, killed and burned part of his body.