Three days after the gruesome murder of Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama, more security personnel have descended heavily on Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region in search of the alleged perpetrators of the heinous crime.
According to a statement signed by the Deputy Director in charge of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, Deputy Superintendent of Police Ms Sheilla Kessie Abayie-Buckman, and issued in Accra yesterday, six suspects had been arrested in connection with the crime.
They are William Baah (the Assembly Member for Denkyira-Obuasi), Bismark Donkor, Philip Badu, Kofi Nyame, Anthony Amoah and Kofi Badu.
Meanwhile, public schools at Denkyira-Obuasi have closed down, while the town has almost been deserted, following the murder of the military officer.
But the Inspector General of Police (IGP) has assured the residents of the town and its surrounding communities of police protection.
He said the police would employ all means possible to uncover the circumstances leading to the murder and those behind the crime.
He, therefore, entreated the public to volunteer information leading to the arrest of persons involved in the gruesome murder by reporting to the nearest police station or calling the police on 18555 (MTN and Vodafone), 0302-773906, 0302787373 or 191 (all networks).
The statement said the police were confident of successful investigations into the murder of Captain Mahama and warned all persons who played roles in the murder to surrender themselves to the nearest police station.
The nation was stunned by the gruesome murder of Captain Mahama when video clips of the barbaric act went viral last Tuesday.
Captain Mahama, who was heading a military detachment near Denkyira-Obuasi, met his untimely death last Monday when some residents of the area accused him of being an armed robber and lynched him.
The officer was on operational duties at the Alaska C&G Mining Company at Amenase Forest, near Diaso.
He was said to be jogging when some residents accused him of being part of a robbery gang that had stormed Denkyira-Obuasi the previous week.
Even before security personnel are able to make major breakthrough in their investigations, more government officials, individuals and institutions are expressing their condolences to the bereaved family.
The Vice-President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, was at the residence of the late Captain Mahama at the Burma Camp yesterday to express the profound condolences of the government and the people of Ghana to the bereaved family.
He expressed the determination of the government to ensure that the perpetrators of the heinous crime were brought to book.
He said when he first heard of the incident, he found it really hard to believe that such a tragic incident had happened, describing it as “dastardly, painful, wicked and evil and I don’t know how anybody, in anyway, can justify anything like this. It is a tragedy not for only his family but the whole of Ghana”.
“It is a criminal act and we will pursue the perpetrators with all the might of the state to bring the matter to a logical conclusion and to make sure that justice is done. I know you are going through unimaginable pain. We know the pain the family, the wife, the mother and others are going through now and we know it is very, very heavy.
“We want to assure you that we are going to be with you through thick and thin to ensure that he gets a befitting burial and do whatever is necessary for the family, the wife and the children. It is important that we hold one another together. It is not going to be easy,” he added.
The Family Head, Chief Kasseh, expressed the gratitude of the family to the government and the people of Ghana for what they had done for the family so far in commiserating with it since the unfortunate incident occurred.
He said the family would not want any further blood to be shared but took serious exception to the statement made by the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the area, who made derogatory remarks about the late Captain Mahama.
Chief Kasseh, who described the late Mahama as his grandson, said the deceased had been brought up in a peace-loving and disciplined manner and would never be involved in anything untoward.
He said during Captain Mahama’s graduation, he was adjudged the best sniper and could have engaged those who attacked him head on but rather he chose to succumb to peace and the rule of law in not inflicting any pain on his attackers.
“That DCE has not hurt only the family but also a lot of people,” he said.
Speaking from the perspective of the Military High Command, the Chief of the Defence Staff, Lieutenant-General Obed Boamah Akwa, said contrary to erroneous speculations, Captain Mahama was on official duty.
“The High Command knew about it and our ministry was also aware. So I would like to disabuse the minds of the general populace that the soldiers were there undertaking or protecting illegal miners,” he said.
He said last Tuesday, he despatched the Chief of the Army Staff, the GOC Southern Command, together with other officers of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), as well as policemen, to go and undertake some investigations on the ground.
He said the team had returned with a report which would be carefully studied and implemented.
“I would also use this opportunity to thank all the men, women and officers of the GAF for the restraint that they have exhibited in the face of such provocation. A new image of the GAF is being carved,” he added.
Lieutenant-General Akwa said he was proud that the military could boast officers and men who “would not take reprisal action as, perhaps, was the case in the past”.
“I would want to commend all of them and urge all those who are deployed in operations in that area to live peacefully with their civilian counterparts and allow the law to take its course,” he urged.
He announced that he would hold a general durbar with all the ranks of the military at the Burma Camp and later at the Takoradi Base and the other garrisons to reiterate some of the things that he and the Vice-President had said.
Meanwhile, the Central Regional Police Command yesterday began interrogating the suspects arrested for their alleged involvement in the murder of Captain Mahama.
The Central Regional Police Public Affairs Officer, ASP Irene Oppong, told the Daily Graphic yesterday: “We are interrogating and taking statements from the suspects, after which they will be put before court.”
She said the police, after screening 50 people initially arrested, found that five of them who were currently in police custody had a case to answer, “hence they were brought down for further investigations”.
“We are mindful of the 48-hour limitation, so we are doing everything possible to extract the necessary information and build a strong case,” she said.
ASP Oppong said the investigation would further unveil the identities of some of the perpetrators of that barbaric act but who were currently on the run for their arrest and prosecution.
She said the police would depend on all authentic evidence to build a water-tight case for prosecution.
In a related development, the Central Regional Police Command yesterday deployed 50 policemen to Denkyira-Obuasi to maintain law and order.
In a related development, chiefs in the Denkyira Traditional Area have condemned the murder of Captain Mahama and set aside June 4 as a day of mourning and a day to pacify the gods for the crime against the land and the people.
The chiefs and the people of the traditional area will clad themselves in black and white clothes and go to the palace of the paramount chief to pour libation for the gods to expose those behind the crime.
They asked the government to keep the people informed about its operations in their communities.