Report: State leads first witness as Major Mahama case begins

Report: State leads first witness as Major Mahama case begins
Source: Ghana|Joy News|Joseph Ackah Blay
Date: 10-05-2018 Time: 02:05:04:pm

It has emerged the CEO of a mining company in Denkyira Obuasi, referred to as Mr Donald was the first to break the news of Major Adam Mahama’s death to the team of military personnel providing security to the mining company.

Donald called Warrant Officer  (WO) 2 Sabi Kwasi on May 29, 2017 at 2:00pm to announce that the young military officer had been shot.

It was his third call to Sabi Kwasi on that fateful day. The previous calls were to find out if all the military personnel were safe and sound.

Sabi Kwasi who is the state’s first witness in the case involving the killing of Major Adam Mahama gave his testimony on Thursday, May 10, 2018.

The jury trial which had been delayed for months over jury selection and other formalities began in earnest with the fate of 14 suspects hanging in the balance.

The suspects are accused of lynching the young military officer who was carrying out his legitimate duties in Denkyira Obuasi in the Central Region.

Mahama who was then a captain but was posthumously awarded a rank of Major had gone for a walk on the morning of May 29, 2017. It was his last.

He was attacked, stripped, stoned and killed by marauding residents of Denkyira Obuasi who claimed to have mistaken him for an armed robber.

Suspects

The torture and killing was captured on video which went viral on social media and left the young soldier’s family-a wife and two young children- the entire country in a state of shock and horror.

Tens of suspects were later arrested for the crime but a number were let go because of lack of evidence against them, leaving some 14 suspects to answer charges of conspiracy to commit murder, and murder.

Testimony

WO 2 Sabi Kwasi led the state in a testimony hoping to confine the suspects to a possible death sentence or life imprisonment if they are found guilty.

He told the court that shortly after he received the news of the death a soldier, from the CEO of the Mining Firm, he became disturbed and called Captain Mahama’s phone many times but his phone wasn't going through. 

Counsel for the defence raised an objection first to the testimony by Sabi Kwasi that he received the information of Captain Mahama’s shooting and killing from the CEO of the mining firm.

George Bernard Shaw and Patrick Anim said the testimony amounted to hearsay.

But the Chief State Attorney, Evelyn Keelson rebutted, that the witness was not testifying to the truth or otherwise of what he was told but was only providing information.

The trial judge overruled the objection as the witness continued his testimony.

"I then went for a vehicle from Mr. Donald, he gave me a pick-up which I left the camp with 3 others to look for him."

They then went to the Dunkwa hospital because they had been told the person who had been shot had been taken there.

"We got lost along the route but got there later."

He said when they arrived, he asked a nurse whether someone who had been shot was in their care.

"The nurse then showed me someone who had been shot in the left neck. When I checked, that person wasn't Capt Mahama.

"A different nurse then told me an armed robber who had been shot was at the mortuary. When we got there, I was shocked to see that person, who was dead was Captain Mahama, who was lying naked."

Restraint

WO1  said on their return to camp, he got another call from his superior Lt Col Nyantei who wanted a confirmation of the news about the killing of Captain Mahama.

WO2 Sabi

“He asked me whether it was true our colleague had been shot. I replied that was the case.”

WO1 Sabi said the Lt. Col later asked them to remain in camp and ensure that no soldier left the camp.

"I assembled the soldiers and informed them Captain Mahama was dead. They were very annoyed".

WO2 Sabi said he pleaded with his colleagues to stay in camp and not go anywhere even though they wanted to go out.

The first witness brought his testimony to an end.

Cross-examination

George Bernard Shaw began the cross-examination and sought to find out what the military was doing in the mining town.

WO 2 Sabi replied that they were there to protect the properties of C n G mining company.

Shaw then asked whether C and G was operating in the Amina forest, a question WO1 Sabi said he didn't know the names of the forests around.

Shaw then asked whether he ever visited the mining site but the witness said he never visited the site.

Shaw stated that "means you will not be in a position to contradict me if they were mining in the forest reserve"

WO2 Sabi said he wouldn't know.

Shaw asked whether Capt Mahama always informed him of what he did daily. WO2 Sabi replied that was the case.

Court adjourned to May 24 for cross-examination to continue.

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