Opinions Sun, 4 Jun 2017

Gruesome murder of Captain Maxwell: Bitter lesson to discourage mob justice

Our country is once again mourning the death of an illustrious son, Captain Maxwell Mahama. It's shocking!And even more shocking as captain Mahama of the 5 Battalion of infantry was a victim of a mistake of an unjustified mob justice.

He was lynched by some locals of the Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region of Ghana whilst on military detachment in the area.In what can be described as inhumane enough,his body was burnt after being stoned to death by the locals who claimed they mistook him for an armed robber.What a misthinking!What kind of heart do these people have.Such heartless rapscallions!

Whilst I join the rest of Ghanaians to commiserate with the family;especially,the wife and children of this hero of our time,I wish to employ all well meaning Ghanaians to join the call for the necessary justice to be served in this case.It's probably,the biggest gift we can offer as fare-thee-well to the soul of our late brother.This case should not end like any of the other cases.

But come to think of it,do you really think this is the first time a mob has taken the law into their own hands and visited such untimely death on well meaning citizens of our land?In this era of rule of law(not rule of mob) and nearly strengthened institutions of state,do you really think it's necessary for a mob to take the law into their own hands and commit such acts with impunity?

Today,the rather painful murder of our brother is making all the news headlines and attracting attention because of one reason-he was a dignified army officer.He was an asset to our nation.You know how we respect soldiers in Ghana!

But as we still continue to mourn,have you ever wondered the number of people who have suffered similar ill-fate in the name of so-called mob justice?Maybe they are in tens,thousands and millions.I guess you didn't hear or you didn't "saw".I just guess such cases have not been witnessed in your community whilst we look on,and some times endorsed such acts.Beat him! Kill him!He is the criminal in the town!They have been albatross on our neck for so long a time...."So kill am;beat am".

Probably,you didn't hear of their cases because,they didn't command respect in society.They were ordinary people like you and I.They were tagged by self acclaimed law enforcement agencies as the "usual thieves", and killed instantly.Maybe because of a goat,sheep,fowl,bicycle,motto inter alia.Maybe you didn't hear of these cases not because you didn't want to hear but because, these people were presumed as commoners in society.

You deliberately forgot the common biblical proposition,"All men are created equal."

But come to also think of it, Why do you think a mob will take the law into their own hands and commit such atrocious acts with immunity? It's simple!Lack of trust in our justice system.You will often hear such people say,sending such victims to the court or police station for proper interrogation and fact funding will amount to freeing them automatically.It will amount to no punishment, although, such people may be found culpable of such crimes.This is usually the cliché.

Permit me to state here that,this is where our institutions must wake-up to the realisation that they are letting society down by their actions and inactions.Anarchy and destruction with impunity would continue to be the order of the day insofar as societal perception of our institutions of law continue to sink.It's just a wake-up call to our institutions,especial of law.

We don't want any startling revelations by Anas Aremeyaw Anas again.We don't want any vigilantism any longer:Invincible Forces,Delta Forces, Azorka Boy's,Bolga Bull Dogs must take a cue.Let our institutions work and win back public trust,else...

Indeed,the gruesome murder of the humble servant of our land,Captain Maxwell Mahama of blessed memory has thought us a bitter lesson.Unfortunate as it is,but it has sounded the wake-up alarm for us all to begin to discourage mob justice from our society.The law must take its cause no matter the confidence so lost in same.We make the law and the law make us.Hence,the law mirrors society.Let's build the law the way we want it.

Join the campaign to end mob justice now!Remember,it could be you!

I pray,however,that justice is served to the family of late Captain Maxwell Mahama.

May the good Lord bless us all.

Columnist: Ananpansah B. Abraham
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