An officer with the 5th Infantry Battallion of the Ghana Army, Maxwell Adam Mahama was on May 29, 2017 lynched at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region.
At dawn on Monday, Capt. Mahama went on his usual jogging.
On the way, it is claimed, he came across two women, who assumed he was an armed robber because he had a gun tucked at the back of his trousers.
According to some accounts, the women called the Assemblyman and informed him that they had seen a man with a gun and were convinced that he was one of the many armed robbers who have been terrorizing residents.
The Assemblyman, whose name has not been given, then called two associates and headed to the area where the Captain was seen jogging.
The Assemblyman said upon reaching the venue, the soldier opened fire on them.
He ran away leaving the two.
He proceeded to the police station to report the incident, but by the time the police arrived at the scene, the Captain had been lynched.
An uncle of Captain Maxwell Mahama told a news station, the family wants justice to bring closure to his gruesome killing.
Prof. Fred Mark Bagonluri an Uncle of the deceased says it is unfortunate a man who has sworn to defend his country had to die in such a manner.
“A man who decides to save his nation has to die in war, and not murdered by the very citizens that he swore an oath to protect and defend against both internal and external aggression.
“For him to die in this manner challenges my citizenship,” he said.
Capt. Mahama with his wife, Barbara Mahama and their two sons
Public relations officer of the Central Regional Police, Irene Oppong said the deceased had multiple deep cut wounds on his head.
She also said he was partly burnt.
What was the response from the security?
The next day, military men were dispatched to the town.
About 120 residents were picked up for their involvement in the incident.
The troops, according to sources were going from door to door seeking information that will help identify the perpetrators.
Police accused the military of hampering investigations into the incident and demanding their withdrawal from the town.
District Police Commander, ASP Osei-Adu Agyemang told a news station that the presence of the military has forced the residents to flee their home, which is thwarting police efforts at getting witnesses to give them credible information to what led to the death of the officer.
“Our fears now is the soldiers storming Denkyira Obuasi and most of the people leaving town. It will take time for police to take the possible witnesses to help us speed up investigations,” he said.
Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul promised government will investigate thoroughly the killing, which he described as weird.
“The circumstances under which this officer was murdered callously has not yet been established so I will urge that we don’t draw conclusions until a thorough investigation has taken place”.
He said the circumstance surrounding the killing is weird because the deceased was armed.
“If it was the normal Ghanaian way of shouting ‘jolour’ [thief] then straight away the officer would have wasted some people if he knew they would kill him.
“It is clear the way he was murdered, the villagers might not have raised the thief syndrome of shouting. They may have hit him without him knowing what their intentions were,” the Minister said.
What was Capt. Mahama doing in Denkyira-Obuasi?
Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul said the officer was posted to the town three weeks ago to relieve the Commander of the military personnel who was guarding a local mining company.
The move is part of the military’s efforts in the fight against illegal mining.
He was the head of the officers there and was to be promoted to Major before his untimely death.
How did Capt. Mahama’s family respond to the incident?
Capt. Mahama’s family is devastated by the manner in which their son died.
In an interview on a news station, an Uncle, Prof. Fred Bagonluri said the family is struggling to deal with the loss.
He described Capt. Mahama as one who had sworn to defend his country and it was unfortunate for him to die in that manner.
He said the family wants justice.
Later in the day, tributes started pouring in. Former president John Mahama was the first.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo followed with a vow that the perpetrators will be brought to book.
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