Twelve Sentenced to Life Imprisonment Over 2017 Lynching of Ghanian Solider

Bianca Bridger
Bianca Bridger
Bianca holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Otago, New Zealand. As the Africa Desk Chief for Atlas, her expertise spans conflict, politics, and history. She is also the Editor for The ModernInsurgent and has interests in yoga and meditation.

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What You Need to Know: 

Accra’s High Court has today sentenced twelve men accused of killing 32 year-old Major Maxwell Adam Mahama in May of 2017 to life imprisonment. 

Initially, fourteen men stood accused during court proceedings in October 2023, but two have since been cleared of involvement in the lynching. 

Mahama was given a state burial and was posthumously awarded the rank of Major. 

According to Ghanaian news site Graphic, Mahama was a commander of a military detachment stationed at Diaso in the Upper Denkyira West District to manage illegal mining activity. 

During a jog in the area, Mahama was attacked by several men armed with cement blocks, machetes, and stones after locals became alarmed at the fact he was carrying a sidearm. 

After the attack, the assailants then proceeded to burn a part of Mahama’s body. 

The Prosecution’s facts as presented during court proceedings in October 2023 are as follows: 

  • At 8 a.m. on May 29, 2017, Major Mahama, wearing civilian clothes but with his sidearm, left his detachment base for a 20-kilometer jog.
  • At 9:25 a.m. the military officer got to the outskirts of Denkyira Obuasi where a number of women were selling foodstuffs by the roadside.
  • He stopped to interact with the women and even bought some snails which he left in their custody to be taken up on his return from jogging.
  • While he was taking out money from his pocket to pay for the snails, the woman from whom he had bought the snails and a few others saw his sidearm tucked to his waist.
  • Soon after he left, one of the women telephoned the assembly member for Denkyira Obuasi to report what they had seen.
  • “Without verifying the information, the assembly member mobilized the accused persons and others, some now at large, to attack the military officer,” the prosecution stated.
  • It added that the mob met Major Mahama near the Denkyira Obuasi cemetery and without giving him the opportunity to explain and identify himself, “attacked him with implements such as clubs, cement blocks and machetes, killed him and burnt a portion of his body”.