The Assemblyman for Denkyira-Obuasi, who is facing a charge of abetment has opened his defense in the ongoing trial to respond to his role which led to the death of Major Maxwell Mahama.
William Baah who is also a teacher told the High Court that, the said man (military man) “pointed a gun at us” when they had wanted to approach him on the Diaso to Denkyira-Obuasi Highway.
This he said scared him which made him and two others – Akwasi Boah and a motor rider make a u-turn to try and save themselves.
William Baah and some 13 others have been charged for their respective roles in the murder of the late Military officer.
While Baah is facing a charge of abetment, the 13 others are on a charge of conspiracy and murder.
They have all pleaded not guilty and have been held in lawful custody.
In court on Monday, July 18, when he mounted the witness box to answer the charge, William told the court that he reported the incident to the police at Diaso.
While being led by his lawyer George Bernard Shaw to give evidence, the first accused narrated how he got informed of the man with a gun by one Maame Bono.
The fateful May 29 incident
Narrating his side of the story to the court about that fateful day, William Baah said, on May 29, 2017, he was at New Obusai Catholic JHS teaching when received a call from Maame Bono.
Though he could not remember the exact time he got to the school, he said lessons had started at 8 am which time he was in class teaching.
Asked by his lawyer George Bernard Shaw to tell the court what happened while he was teaching, William Baah acknowledged the moment and the opportunity given him to tell his story to the whole world.
“While teaching on that day, I had a phone call from a certain woman who is popularly called Maame Bono (a witness in the case)” and that, Maame Bono “called me because I was the Assemblyman for the Electoral area.”
He explained that the said Maame Bono “called me because anytime they needed help, they called upon me and I offered them the necessary support.”
He told the court that, the said Maame Bono “called to inform me that, she had seen a certain man coming from Diaso heading towards Denkyira-Obuasi,” and that, “she saw the man with a gun at the time he had reached where they were and he (Major Mahama) had enquired from them the distance from where they were to Denkyira-Obuasi.”
He said the information stated that the late man “was walking so fast so I should come and take notice of him.”
The police commander’s phone switched off
Telling the court what he did after he had received the call from Maame Bono, he said, “By the time she called me, I had the police commander’s phone number and I called three times but the line was switched off.
“And I informed him later when I got him. He told me at the time they were on the Dunkwa-On-Offin Road and the network was bad.”
He told the court, “I told him (Commander) that I had a call that, a certain man was heading towards Denkyira-Obuasi and had a gun on him. But I called him several times but the line was not getting through so I went to the police station to report.”
Verification of information
He said, “I came to Denkyira-Obuasi motor station to pick a motor rider to go and verify the information given him.
“I took the motorbike and asked the rider to take me the Diaso from Denkyira-Obuasi where Maame Bono called from to verify the information Maame Bono gave me.
“Whilst we were heading towards Diaso Road from Denkyira-Obuasi, I saw Akwesi Boah (an accused), who tried to stop me.”
He told the court, “I met him (Akwasi Boah) on the Denkyira-Obuasi to Diaso Road at the junction. And he asked me where I was heading to. And I told him that I had a call that a certain man with a gun was heading towards Denkyira-Obuasi so I am going to verify.”
William Baah said, “he (Akwasi Boah) told me he will escort me and I asked him to join me on the motorbike and we went to the place.”
“I was sitting behind the motor rider and Akwasi Boah was behind me,” he told the court that, all three of them were on the same motorbike including the rider.
He said he and Akwasi Boah were both not having anything or holding anything.
He said, at the time, Akwasi Boah joined us, we drove for some time but we did not see anyone.
“But after some time, we met a certain man who was heading towards Denkyira-Obuasi.
“We met him at a stream by the roadside called ‘Anakoma-Anankoma’ which is placed on the left and right side of the main road towards Diaso Denkyira-Obuasi
“When we met the man, we bypassed him. Because at the time we met him I did not see him holding any gun.”
He added that, after bypassing him, “When we looked ahead of us, we didn’t see anyone. So I said, that the man we passed might be the man Maame Bono was referring to so I asked the motor rider to turn.
“He turned and when we turned and we were going, about 50metres, we saw the man again who also turned and upon seeing us, he pointed a gun at us.
“I got scared and asked the motor rider to turn back. At the time the man pointed the gun at us, I asked the motor rider to turn. While he was turning I saw Yaw Amankwa (another accused) also on a motorbike heading towards Denkyira-Obuasi.
“I was scared when the man pointed the gun that is why I turned back towards Diaso,” he told the court.
The court presided over by Justice Mariama Owusu, a Justice of the Supreme Court sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge has adjourned the case to October 17, 2022.
The 14 persons are standing trial at an Accra High Court over the killing of Major Mahama, who was an officer of the 5th Infantry Battalion, at Burma Camp.
The late Major was on duty at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region when on May 29, 2017, some residents allegedly mistook him for an armed robber and lynched him.
The mob had ignored his persistent plea that he was an officer of the Ghana Armed Forces.
The accused are; William Baah, the Assembly Member of Denkyira Obuasi, Bernard Asamoah alias Daddy, Kofi Nyame a.k.a Abortion, Akwasi Boah, Kwame Tuffour, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Michael Anim, and Bismarck Donkor.
Others are John Bosie, Akwasi Baah, Charles Kwaning, Emmanuel Badu, Bismarck Abanga and Kwadwo.