It’s no longer fresh in the ears of most Ghanaians, that a military man, one Captain Mahama, was beaten to death after he was allegedly mistaken for an armed robber. Stories on the despicable incident which occurred on Monday, 29th May, 2017, have been flooding various media platforms, leaving people talking and wondering…
But How Exactly Did It Happen?
The entire town of Diaso in the Upper Dankyira West District of the Central Region of Ghana was thrown into a state of complete pandemonium on Monday, after it was confirmed that the supposed armed robber who was brutally beaten and burnt to death in the area by an angry mob, was really an army officer.
Reliable sources revealed that the slain military officer who was identified as Captain Maxwell Mahama was spotted by some residents of the area while he was on his daily jogging routine that fateful morning. It happened that he stopped by to inquire for directions from some women who saw a pistol on him. Unfortunately, the Captain was not putting on his military outfit, but was in mufti.
The said residents mistook him for an armed robber owing to the gun, and therefore raised alarm which saw the quick gathering of some youths who swiftly descended on the unfortunate army officer with fury. He reportedly wounded one of his assailants with a gun shot in the fight to defend himself, but the mob finally overpowered him.
And just as they do with supposed armed robbers, the crowd never bothered to listen to the cries and pleas of the young Captain Mahama, but continued to hit him and throw stones at him until he gave up the ghost. They didn’t stop there, but went ahead to burn his remains.
Their brutal and most barbaric action they said, was fueled by the fact that there was a robbery operation the previous day in the area, making everyone to be on the lookout for the hoodlums.
Assembly Man Organised Murder
There are some versions of reports that allege that an assembly man masterminded the killing of Captain Mahama. The sources reveal that the Diaso residents who saw the army officer first alerted the assembly man who then organised some youths of the area to beat and lynch the mistaken military man to death. According to Police sources, the Assembly man is currently on the run.
Subsequent reports however suggest that the murder was linked to the soldier’s mission in the area to fight illegal mining.
Who was This Captain Mahama?
Late Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama, the innocent victim of jungle justice was a member of the 5th Infantry Battalion (5BN) at Burma Camp in Accra who was deployed to serve at Diaso in the Central Region. According to a statement released by the Ghana Armed Forces in confirmation of the killing, Captain Mahama “was the detachment commander of troops on operational duties in the general area”.
Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul reportedly disclosed that the late Captain was about to be promoted to a Major after he came out successful in his promotional examinations few weeks ago. He also reveal that the deceased was posted to the area about three weeks ago after the Commander of the military personnel there was relieved of his duties for protecting a local mining company.
The deceased was the son of a retired army officer, Twumbi Mahama. He was also a great grandson of Lt. Colonel H.W.M Bamford, who served as the Inspector General of Police (1924-1938) for 14 years during British colonial rule in Gold Coast.
According to his Facebook profile, he studied abroad at the University of Leicester where he earned a Master’s Degree in Security and Risk Management. He also attended the University of Ghana where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and History. Prior to that, he had attended the St John’s School in Sekondi-Takoradi in the Western Region, as well as the Akosombo International School for his secondary education.
Captain Mahama who was his mother’s only son, was married with two lovely kids. See family photo below.
Jungle Justice in Ghana
The issue of jungle justice of abusing, beating to death and burning suspected criminals, especially those of alleged thieves on the streets without questioning or trial is not new in Ghana. It has been there as a normal and justifiable practice. Once a prey is caught, the deed is done with the swiftness of lightening, then the perpetrators disappear with the speed of Usain Bolt. Normal daily activities continue, even when it is later realised that the victim may not have deserved the gruesome death!
However, had the government of Ghana, and various security agencies known that this sort of brutal and most barbaric killings will one day cost the nation the death of an innocent soldier, they would have done something meaningful to stop it.
This is also not the first of its kind in Denkyira-Obuasi as a former DCE of the area, Ambrose Ashia recalled his experienced while he served there in year 2014 while commenting on Mahama’s death on Asempa FM Tuesday. Describing the people’s psyche as one “characterized by impunity, lawlessness and savagery, Mr. Ashia recounted how the residents almost lynched a man returning from a vigil under the suspicion that he was a serial killer.
How could citizens descend on a fellow citizen in such a heartless manner, killing and burning him without demanding any form of information – and not that he was caught in the act of robbery? Unless there is another meaning to this latest incident that is yet to be unraveled, it is completely treacherous! Unacceptable!! And most despicable!!!