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General News Tue, 13 Jul 2021

Major Mahama case: Defence challenges Baba Yaro status as independent witness

An accused person in the mini trial involving 14 alleged murderers of Major Maxwell Mahama, is challenging the status of Mr Baba Yaro, an independent witness, in the trial.

Mr Augustine Obour, Counsel for Kwamee Tuffour, told the Court presided over by Madam Mariama Owusu, a Justice of the Supreme Court, sitting as an additional High Court Judge, that Mr Yaro, who is a Court Witness was not present when the statement of Tuffour was taken, and he was just called to sign.

But Mr Yaro in a cross examination disagreed with the defence, saying he was present when Sergeant Daniel Nortey was taking the statement from the accused person, who voluntarily gave it.

Mr Yaro, a former Assemblyman and a Professional teacher, said he was walking in front of the Nyinahin Police Station, when Sergeant Nortey asked him to become an independent witness for him.

He said initially, he had some concerns because he had an important assignment that day but the Police Officer managed to convince him that the case was of National interest and he being an Assemblyman, he was complete.

“The Police Officer said he had not seen any complete person to serve as an independent witness, hence he deciding to call me,” he said.

Asked, what was his charge, the witness said he was made to know that Tuffour was a suspect in connection with the murder of Major Mahama.

The Counsel suggested to the witness that before, he supposedly came in, the accused person was beaten but the Assemblyman of 12 years said he was not aware.

Mr Obour again suggested to the witness that Tuffour was not given food for two days before the day of the statement taking but Mr Yaro said he was not aware.

The witness said in his presence, Tuffour was given the opportunity to contact his Counsel, if he wished but no opportunity was given to him tom contact his family.

“You were not the independent witness for Sergeant Nortey, when statement was taken from Tuffour,” the Counsel pointed to the witness but he disagreed.

He also disagreed with the defence that he had never seen the statement before till now that his being handed in court.

Mr Obour alleged that the witness wrote the certification of the statement somewhere and brought it to the Officer but he disagreed, saying he wrote it in the presence of the accused person and the Police Officer.

It was on this note that the defence ended their cross-examination in the mini-trial. They are to open their defence in the next adjourn date. The trial has been adjourned to July 19, 2021.

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 ignored his persistent plea that he was an officer of the Ghana Armed Forces.

The accused persons are: William Baah, the Assembly member 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.

The rest are: John Bosie, Akwasi Baah, Charles Kwaning, Emmanuel Badu, Bismarck Abanga and Kwadwo Anima.
Source: gna.org.gh
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