MPs Fear Of Security Breakdown Heightened

…After killing of soldier

In the wake of the gruesome killing of Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama, who was, until his untimely death last Monday, a commander of a military detachment at Upper Denkyira West in the Central Region to combat illegal mining, commonly known as ‘galamsey,’ the potency of Ghana’s democracy has come under threat.

The grisly killing of the young military officer has brought Ghana’s vibrant democratic dispensation under pressure over what has been alleged to be government failure to deal with worsening insecurity, following the execution-style murder of Captain Maxwell Adsam Mahama last Monday, May 29.

Mob justice has gained notoriety in the country recently. Some people attribute the act to largely to people being ignorant of Ghana’s laws, while others allied it to widespread lack of confidence in a justice system that can easily be bought off by a suspect with a little cash to spare.

Those who expressed no confidence in the justice system cited the recently discharged of Delta Force members and the suspected killers of JB Danquah-Adu, former Member of Parliament (MP) for Abuakwa North, to buttress their views.

The mob justice takes many forms and shapes – flogging suspected robbers to death; slashing suspected criminals; stripping suspects naked and beating them with blocks, sticks and iron rods till they die; subjecting suspects to humiliating and degrading treatments and sometimes setting them ablaze.

However, some lawmakers of Ghana’s parliament who spoke to The Republic on the subject said mob action is gradually assuming a posture of an unquestioned culture of executing instant ‘justice’ without recourse to the law courts.

Hon. Kwame Governs Agbodza, Member of Parliament for Adaklu, said the menace of mob action is steadily developing into an ugly tumour on the near immaculate face of our present 1992 Constitution.

In his view, mob action, put bluntly, “is an embarrassment to our democracy. It casts an ugly slur on our national identity. It represents imprints of visible tokens of incivility and brutishness.”

He added that the action or instant justice is sordid and repulsive, its frequency represents a reversal of our democratic laurels and a flagrant departure from the rule of law which could set to be a major democratic defect.

He contended that, the recent attack and killing of Captain Mahama, entry of nolle prosequi in the case of the suspected murderers of JB Danquah and that of the Delta Force members at Kumasi by the Attorney General are all evidence of the breakdown of law order, and reveals the inadequacies of our system of justice.

With the foregoing incidents of mob justice and nolle prosequi, Hon Agbodza expressed fear that no one is safe and that the country is likely to drift deeper into the quagmire of lawlessness if the problem of instant justice is not checked immediately.

“If an MP can be stabbed to death in his own residence in such a gruesome manner with CCTV showing footage and police did thorough work to get the assailants arrested for only the AG to enter nolle prosequi. If fellow citizens can subject a military captain to that gruesome murder, then how safe is the ordinary Ghanaian, including myself?” The Adaklu MP asked this paper in parliament.

Hon. Umar Alhassan, MP for Zabzugu, on his part, is of the view that, though instant justice is a democratic deficit and a bane of our criminal justice system, it all boils down to the breakdown of our social fabrics.

According to him, gone are days some people could engage in such barbaric act without being reprimanded by the elderly or the community leaders, adding that it is not enough to say our judicial process is bogged down by factors, such as delay and corruption, but the society itself has lost the value of purpose and focus.

“All these boil down to one thing – the social fabric is disconnected, people now do things without thinking the consequence. The churches and families where we were taught are all now not giving the real moral life education and the worst of all is that politics has destroyed it all, young people do not take advice from elders, among other several factors,” he intimated.

Hon. Alhassan, who sounded very philosophical, attributed the gruesome murder of Captain Maxwell Mahama to the current state of affairs in the nation’s politics, tracing series of lawlessness on the part of political party goon squads, especially the Delta Force, who recently raided a circuit court and interrupted trial yproceedings and up today they are walking free, because they have political backing from the incumbent governing political party.

“In a country where social fabrics are broken down, we should expect that people are likely to take the law into their own hands and administer ‘justice’ in the manner they deem fit. The problem of instant justice needs to be tackled concertedly. But politics has taken over, since this NPP government came into power, there has been one barbaric act of criminality to another and it all started with these vigilante groups,” the Zabzugu MP said.

Hon Alhassan said, no system of democracy deserves its name if people are free to take the law into their own hands and execute instant ‘justice’ without recourse to the court, arguing that in our constitutional arrangement, instant justice is abject injustice and that it was time for the rule of law prevailed.

Hon. John Majisi, MP for Krachie Nchumuru, on his part, expressed sadness and disappointment on the grounds that a democratic country, like Ghana, could be experiencing such barbaric attacks such as the one meted out to no less a person than a young military officer who the nation had invested so much to provide security to be murdered in such cruel manner.

“It is against our constitution and against the laws of this country, especially as it denies the victims of mob justice the opportunity to be taken through the due process of law and to be heard,” Hon. Majisi said.

He said, initially he could not believed but after he had seen some pictures and viewed a video footage, it struck his imagination as to how cruel some Ghanaians could be, questioning “why  people could take the laws into their hands and perpetrate that heinous crime.”

“Taking the law into our hands in the manner that the perpetrators of the act did is an act of cruelty,” he added.

Hon. Majisi however expressed the view that, our people need to be educated about human rights, otherwise innocent persons would wrongfully be accused and may suffer mob action.”

The media and other state institutions, like the NCCE, he said, have the  duty to educate all sections of the populace about fundamental laws, especially “when we are talking about crimes and the rights of alleged criminals.”


Source: Felix Engsalige Nyaaba


The Republic News Online

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