The eight suspected killers of Major Maxwell Adam Mahama who were arraigned last Friday included the snail seller who allegedly gave a false alarm that led to the lynching of the army officer.
The arrest of the eight has brought the number of suspects picked up by the police in connection with the gruesome murder to 52.
They have all been remanded in prison custody.
The snail seller, whose name was given as Akosua Takyiwaa, aka Maame Bono, is said to have raised the false alarm by calling the Assembly Member for Denkyira-Obuasi, who mobilised people to allegedly kill the soldier.
According to the police, 10 of the suspects turned themselves in, while 42 others were arrested from their hideouts.
Preliminary investigations by the police revealed that the murder of Major Mahama was caused by the snail seller’s false alarm that suggested that he was an armed robber after she had spotted a pistol tucked to his waist.Major Mahama had stopped to buy snails from her, paid for them and told her he would return for the snails on his way back from a routine walk.
But the woman, on seeing Captain Mahama’s sidearm while he was taking out money to pay her, called the assembly member and informed him about what she had seen.
The assembly member too, without checking the authenticity of the claim, mobilised some youth who, without verifying Major Mahama’s identity, carried out the gruesome attack and murdered him.
CID Boss speaks
The Director-General of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Mr Bright Oduro, has advised all those whose actions caused the gruesome murder to report themselves to the police in their own interest.
He said all the suspects deserted Denkyira Obuasi after the killing but the police had so far managed to arrest 42 of them from other places across the country, all of whom had been put before court and remanded.
He said all others involved in the crime could run but they could not hide, emphasising that the police would do everything possible to ensure that the perpetrators were arrested to face justice.
Mr Oduro told the Daily Graphic in Accra at the weekend that “the police will not rest until we have arrested all of them, so it will be in their own interest to report themselves to the police now because they will not escape justice”.
He said all the women mentioned in earlier reports, including the snail seller and the one who was seen taking close shots of the deceased, had been arrested.
The deceased, about 8 a.m. on Monday, May 29, 2017, left his detachment base at Diaso for a 20-kilometre walk in civilian clothing but carried his sidearm.
According to the police, Major Mahama walked on the main asphalted Diaso-Dominase-Ayanfuri road and on reaching the outskirts of Denkyira Obuasi, he saw a number of women selling food items on the roadside. He stopped, interacted with them and even bought some snails.
While the deceased was taking money from his pocket to pay for the snails, the woman, now identified as Maame Bono, from whom he had bought the snails, spotted his sidearm. After he had left, she called the assembly member for Denkyira Obuasi by phone and informed him of what she had seen.
The police said by that time the message had spread that an armed robber had been sighted and other people had come around, wielding all forms of implements, and they started attacking the deceased.
“The deceased made efforts to explain his identity, while at the same time attempting to flee from his attackers,” the police said.
He was killed around 10 a.m. on that same day, May 29, 2017, after being brutally assaulted with clubs, machetes and cement blocks.
The police got to the scene of the murder at 10:30 a.m. to pick the corpse.
Laid to rest
Ghanaians from all walks of life, clad in the traditional black and red mourning attire to signify their deep sorrow, last Friday thronged the Forecourt of the State House in Accra for the final journey of the young and promising soldier.
The atmosphere at the forecourt was solemn, with mourners in a sombre mood reflecting on the unfortunate incident which offended the collective conscience of the Ghanaian people.
Tears flowed from all angles and not a single person at the funeral ground had dry eyes as the casket containing the remains of the late Major, draped in the national colours, was raised from the centre where it had been for the funeral service to begin his final journey.
The Vice-President, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia, led a high-powered government delegation to the grounds, which also included the First Lady, Mrs Rebecca Akufo Addo, and the wife of the Vice-President, Samira Bawumia, to pay their last respects to the late Major.
Former President John Dramani Mahama was present and he laid a wreath on behalf of the family.
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, the Speaker of Parliament, members of the clergy, among other dignitaries, were also there.