Life after Major Mahama: 20 reported cases of ‘mob justice’ in 2019

The 20-foot monument of Major Maxwell Adam Mahama which stands tall at Airport Hills Roundabout in Accra was to serve as a reminder to the end of instant mob attack in the country.

A total of twenty reported cases of ‘mob justice’ have been recorded in just 2019, this clearly shows the level of lawlessness in the country. The national campaign against this barbaric act has still not been won despite several efforts.

It is clear to us that the campaign failed, people still resort to ‘mob justice’ which in its natural sense ‘injustice’ to victims who may or may not be guilty of the crimes accused of.

The Chief Justice of Ghana, Sophia Akuffo has clearly stated that “mob justice is a misnomer and it’s definitely not justice, and it’s got nothing to do with justice as delivered by the judiciary”.

The saying that ‘justice delayed is justice denied’ has led citizens to make a hurried decision in the name of ‘serving justice’.

A suspected kidnapper suffering from mental disorder was subjected to severe beatings by residents of Diabene in the Western Region for attempting to kidnap a 12-year-old boy in the area. The mob could have murdered him if not for the timely intervention of the queen mother.

There is a need for us to implement draconian sanctions to serve as a deterrent to people who resort to mob justice. A person is innocent until proven guilty by institutions which are entrusted with that responsibility, innocent people are subjected to brutalities by members of the pubic in an attempt to ensure fairness for themselves.

A motor rider was lynched and burnt by residents of Fielmua in the Sissala East-West District of the Upper West Region for knocking and killing a pedestrian.

It is quite unbelievable to see how the community joins hands to commit such atrocities. A man suspected to be a kidnaper was also lynched at Beposo-Yooyono in the Wench Municipality of the Bono Region after being seen with a four-year-old girl who had gone missing for days.

Suspected armed robbers, rapists, pick-pockets among other miscreants are lynched, set on fire, beaten with sticks and other materials subjecting them to pain and torture. We must do away with this inhumane act since the constitution and law provide for the right to a fair hearing.

As a country, we only condemn mob justice and forget to implement lasting solutions that will bring sanity to our nation. We must walk the talk by prosecuting persons who are caught in the act of minting justice to accused persons.

Women are not left out of mob attack, victims are molested and abused when caught in the act of stealing. There are several videos that show women being sexually abused or stripped naked as punishment for their offenses.

A female Ghanaian referee, Theresa Beremansu, was mercilessly beaten in a women’s league game in Sunyani for reportedly not adding enough injury time after the 90 minutes had expired. The list of people who have experienced mob justice keeps rising, victims who are not lucky do not live to tell their stories.

The Police Service on several instances have cautioned the public not to resort to lynching suspected thieves but rather report such incidents to the police for further investigations.

The case of a 26-year man who was lynched at Amoam Achiase after the chief of the town called him out as an armed robber cannot be over looked.

An unidentified man was also lynched and killed by a mob at Agomanya Ablotsi in the Lower Manya Krobo municipality. The police discovered multiple injuries after retrieving the body from a gutter. The incident at the time brought to two the number of suspected thieves lynched in the area within three months.

Speaking to some section of the public they explained why they prefer to lynch pickpockets, robbers and other miscreants. A phone dealer at Lapaz narrated his ordeal.

“I was robbed of all my belongings in my house, as it stands now if any one attempts to rob me I will beat the person up including the policeman who will try to stop me. These robbers are wicked, when they come its either they kill you or destroy your life so I dislike robbers. If they are caught we must beat them up before handing them over to the police”.

Some people who spoke to Ghanaweb justified the need for mob attack on suspected criminals:

“When a thief is caught, you cannot let them go freely. If we have to beat you, so be it. If you deserve to be killed we will do so. Before the police who claim to protect us will come to your rescue we would have already dealt with you…..times are hard and we are not safe, no thief will spare your life, they will harm or kill you before they rob you. We have to also protect ourselves from these robbers”

“I condemn the act, it is the pain and anger that leads people to do so (mob justice). Sometimes what they do is abominable, imagine a young child being defiled by a pedophile…. The incidence will happen in a blink of an eye, we cannot go looking for the police at that moment. If you are lucky the police might come to your rescue… if the police arrive at the scene you have to quickly run else you might be arrested for indulging in mob attack”

Another incident was recorded when angry residents of Hununya set an armed robber and his car ablaze after killing two. According to reports, the robber was tied and burnt in the boot of the car used for the robbery operation. He was denied trial due to instant justice, a culture that have been adopted by some Ghanaians.

Majority of the public believe that, Ghanaians must allow the laws to deal with persons caught in any form of criminal activities rather than the injustice that is served in such situations;

“I frown on mob attacks, some victims may be innocent…. We must send such persons to the police station for further interrogations. The police must investigate and arrest people who indulge in mob attack”

“There is no need for beating up criminals, arrest and send them to the police station for the laws to deal with such persons”

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