Major Mahama trial: Witness says petrol was poured on soldier
The witness who was led by Mrs Frances Mullen Ansah, Principal State Attorney to give his evidence in chief spoke twi which was translated by an interpreter, said he saw petrol being poured on the body of late Major getting it ready to be burnt.
The witness said that it took the intervention of people around to prevent one Nana Adja from torching the body and later dropped the matches to the ground.
The witness said he is a tricycle driver and on the day of the incident, he was hired to convey some goods to someone at the outskirt of Denkyira-Obuasi.
He said he saw the deceased on his way exactly at Wayo-Nkwanta, a suburb of Denkyira-Obuasi, where he told him not to ride on the shoulders of the road but rather move to the middle.
He said upon his return, he saw three people; Akwasi Boah, Yaw Amankwah and Yaw Boadu, and that Amankwah was exchanging gun shots with the late Major and this continue to the outskirts of the town.
Mr Appiah said he left the scene because he was scared but when he got home, he heard they have arrested an armed robber, so he rushed out to witness.
He said “On my way l saw motorbikes and vehicles parked along the roadside, where l saw some people with cement blocks, stones and sticks hitting the deceased and he was lying down”.
The witness said he saw one of the accused persons Kofi Nyame a.k.a Abortion lift a cement block and hit the head of the late Major Mahama upon which the victim became weak.
He said the victim, who was very weak had fire set to his pubic hair and immediately after he saw the arrival of the Deiso Police and with them was the Assemblyman; William Baah but he did not get down from the Police vehicle.
Mr Appiah said after the Police took the body away, he also drove his tricycle and left the scene.
He said around 1600 hours, they heard that the deceased was a Military Officer and his colleagues would soon invade the area, so most residents went into hiding.
The witness told the court that he later fled to Sefwi and over there a Police officer approached to informed him that he was wanted at the Police station.
He said he gave his statement to the Police and the following day, he was sent to Deiso Police station, where he met other people who have been arrested in connection with the case and that they were all transferred to Accra where he was sent to the Dansoman Police station and the others to the Korle-Bu Police station.
Mr Appiah said after many court appearances and investigation, the court discharged him together with seven others.
During cross-examination led by Patrick Anim Addo one of the counsels for the accused, asked whether he was hiding when the Police arrested him and he answered in the affirmative.
He again asked, whether he has seen the video of the incident, the witness answered in the negative.
“Did you see your brother at the scene,” the Counsel asked but the witness said “l went there and met him.”
The Counsel pointed to the witness that his memory was faulty, because he gave two different periods in his statement when the incident happened but the witness disagreed.
Mr Anim Addo said the witness gave 9am and 12 noon respectively in separate statements to the Police and so he was not being truthful and not giving credible account of what happened. The witness however disagreed.
Counsel said, “your brother was at the scene but you did not tell them” but the witness said that was not so.
Mr George Bernard Shaw, a Defence Counsel in the case who was supposed to cross-examine the sixth Prosecution, since he was not well but at last Thursday’s hearing told the court that he would no longer cross-examined the witness.
Fourteen persons are standing trial at an Accra High Court over the killing of Major Mahama, who was an officer of the 5th Infantry Battalion, at Burma Camp.
The late Major was on duty at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region when on May 29, 2017 some residents allegedly mistook him for an armed robber and lynched him.
The mob had ignored his persistent plea that he was an officer of the Ghana Armed Forces.
The accused are William Baah, the Assemblyman of Denkyira Obuasi, Bernard Asamoah alias Daddy, Kofi Nyame a.k.a Abortion, Akwasi Boah, Kwame Tuffour, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Michael Anim and Bismarck Donkor.
Others are John Bosie, Akwasi Baah, Charles Kwaning, Emmanuel Badu, Bismarck Abanga and Kwadwo Anima.
The Court presided over by Justice Mariama Owusu, adjourned the matter to Tuesday, March 12, for the continuation of the trial.