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Major Mahama’s case will lead to trial reforms, says A.G, Godfred Dame3 min read

Major Mahama’s case will lead to trial reforms, says A.G, Godfred Dame<span class="wtr-time-wrap after-title"><span class="wtr-time-number">3</span> min read</span>

The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, has stated that the trial of the 14 accused persons for the murder of the late Major Maxwell Mahama has brought to the fore some of the severe challenges with criminal justice system, and will therefore occasion important reforms in the trial of criminal cases in Ghana.

Some of the reforms, according to the A-G, have already commenced whilst others are imminent. Mr. Dame noted that apart from the passage of the “Vigilantism Act,” he has tabled a new bill before Cabinet, which will be reviewed this week on reforms to the jury trial system in the country. The reforms will extend to other means of speeding up the hearing of criminal trials generally. They include provisions on the control of interlocutory appeals and applications in criminal cases, day to day trial of cases, video evidence, and control of proceedings at trials generally.

The Attorney-General disclosed this when he received four members of the family of the late soldier, Major Maxwell Mahama, in his office who were there to register their appreciation to the AG’s Office and the State for steering to a sound conclusion, the trial of fourteen (14) persons who were charged for the murder of the slain soldier.

Meeting Attendees

Present at the meeting were the Deputy Attorney-General, Alfred Tuah- Yeboah, Solicitor-General, Mrs Helen Akpene Ziwu, Director of Public Prosecutions, Mrs Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, chief state attorneys of the Office of the Attorney General, Mrs Evelyn Kelson and Colonel Mensah Gordon representing the Ghana Armed Forces.

Family’s message

The visiting delegation led by Mr Kaleonah Tizzala, an uncle of the late Major Maxwell Mahama, also included Veronica Bamford, Mother of the late military office, and two siblings of the late soldier. Speaking on behalf of the family, Mr Kaleonah Tizzala noted that it has been seven long years of the family waiting to get justice for their beloved son.

He indicated that the family is, however, satisfied that the prosecuting attorneys of the Office of the Attorney-General stayed the course, were diligent and succeeded in ensuring that those who carried out the crime of murder against their son have been brought to justice.

Major Mahama’s Mother

Veronica Bamford, Mother of the late Major Maxwell Mahama on her part, registered her appreciation to the Attorney General for taking keen interest in the case of (The Republic versus William Baah and 13 others).

She observed that her son’s death has caused her mental health challenges, but over time, she has been able to over them, and she will continue in her struggle to over all her mental health issues fully.

Miss Veronica Bamford lamented the deplorable state of the tomb of her son, who was buried at the military cemetery. She suggested to the AG to use his good office to impress upon the appropriate authorities to consider giving a phase lift to the grave yard of her late son, Major Maxwell Mahama.

Trial outcome

Twelve people out of the fourteen accused persons, including the assembly member for Denkyira Obuasi, William Baah, were found guilty of murder and conspiracy to commit murder on Tuesday, 30 January 2024, for the murder of the Major Maxwell Mahama.

A seven-member jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty against Bernard Asamoah, Akwasi Baah, Kwame Tuffour, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Kofi Nyarko, Michael Anim, Emmanuel Badu, John Bosie, Akwasi Baah, Charles Kwaning and Kwadwo Anim.

The twevle convicts were charged with the offences of murder, conspiracy to commit murder, and abetment of murder. The verdict of the jury essentially pointed to the fact that the twelve individuals were responsible for the tragic events leading up to the death of the military officer, Major Maxwell Mahama.

Two out of the fourteen accused persons, Bismark Donkor and Bismark Abanga, were, however, acquitted and discharged after the jury returned a verdict of not guilty as far as the two accused persons are concerned.

From Wilberforce Asare

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