An irate mob in a Ghanaian neighborhood have lynched and murdered a young army officer after mistaking him for an armed robber.
Captain Maxwell Adama Mahama of the 5th battalion infantry was on Monday lynched in the Denkyira-Obuasi area of Ghana’s central region by residents who mistook him for an armed robber according to Joy FM. Local police say they had received a call about a man carrying a pistol and by the time they reached the area they found the mob had lynched the suspected man.
Reports say Captain Mahama, who had recently been posted to the region to relieve the substantive commander of military personnel there, was out jogging early on Monday morning when he was accosted by neighborhood youths who suspected him of being an armed robber. Their suspicion was further heightened when they found Mahama dressed in regular clothes and carrying a pistol.
Residents of Denkyira-Obuasi neighborhood have in recent times been the victims of violent crimes and armed robbery attacks, with residents claiming there had been another attack the night before Mahama’s lynching.
Witnesses say Mahama had earlier asked for directions from a group of women, who quickly raised an alarm on sighting an unfamiliar face, word then got to an elected Assemblyman who ordered the mob lynching.
Mahama’s repeated pleas to the irate crowd that he was an officer and thus licensed to bear arms fell on deaf ears as they hit him with stones, cement blocks and eventually set his body on fire.
Joy FM reports that after the news of the unfortunate incident got to them, military operatives poured into the town to retrieve Mahama’s remains prompting residents to flee, in fear of reprisal attacks from the soldiers.
Local police have confirmed the incidence and say at least four people have already been arrested in connection with the murder of captain Mahama, with the Assemblyman who ordered the lynching now said to be on the run.
Public lynching’s of suspected criminals are sadly not uncommon across parts of sub-Saharan Africa where confidence in the criminal justice system is abysmally low.
Captain Mahama was married with two children and had just returned from a peacekeeping mission in Lebanon and was well on track to be promoted to the rank of a Major.