Twelve out of the 14 accused persons in the Major Maxwell Mahama murder trial were yesterday found guilty of the offence of murder. They have been sentenced to life imprisonment.
That was after a seven-member panel returned a unanimous verdict of guilty against the assemblyman for the area, William Baah, Bernard Asamoah, aka Daddy, Kofi Nyarko, aka Abortion, Akwasi Baah, Kwame Tuffour, Joseph Appiah Kubi and Michael Anim. The rest are John Bosie, Akwasi Baah, Charles Kwaning, Emmanuel Badu and Kwadwo Anim.
The two other persons alongside the 12 — Bismark Donkor and Bismarck Abanga — were however acquitted and discharged after the jury returned a not guilty verdict in their favour.
They were standing trial on charges ranging from murder, abetment to murder and conspiracy to commit murder.
Speaking on the verdict in a media interview, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Dame, expressed hope that the verdict would act as a deterrence to people who practice mob justice.
“It’s been a long battle; started way back in December 2017. Persons accused were committed to some trial at the High Court; that was in April 2018. It’s been about five years or more; the whole justice, we all know, grinds slowly. But today we have seen justice.
“Two have been acquitted and 12 sentenced. I don’t think the public will contest the acquittal of those two persons. We are satisfied with the conviction. And we can only express our sympathies with the family of the late Major Mahama. They have suffered a lot; they have gone through a lot, but at least they have seen justice and I’m sure they should be happy about it,” the A-G stated.
Major Mahama was lynched at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region on May 29, 2017, while on duty. It was later narrated that the military officer had been mistaken for a robber. Following the incident, over 50 suspects were rounded up, out of which 14 were eventually screened for prosecution.
The High Court, in July 2022, overruled a submission of no case made by lawyers of the 14 accused persons. The 14, including then assemblyman for Denkyira Obuasi, William Baah, argued that the prosecution had not made a compelling case enough against them.
Their lawyers, thus, argued that they had not been implicated in the tragic killing of Major Mahama, and should be freed of the charge.
Justice Mariama Owusu, a Justice of the Supreme Court sitting as an additional High Court Judge, however, rejected their argument.
Her Ladyship held that the charges of intentionally causing harm to, and murder of, Major Maxwell Mahama had been sufficiently demonstrated by the prosecution, and needed to be defended.
She consequently overruled the submission of no case, and called upon the accused persons to open their defence.