Lawyer Bernard Shaw, Counsel for Bismarck Donkor and Bismark Abanga, the two persons who were acquitted and discharged after being charged for conspiracy in the Major Maxwell Mahama murder trial, has indicated that he will explore all avenues to seek redress for his clients who were unjustifialy held in prison.
The two innocent two were kept in Nsawam prison for seven years enduring the harsh conditions in the detention centre when they had not done anything wrong.
Bismarck Donkor and Bismarck Abanga in an exclusive interview on Ghana Kasa show on Kasapa 102.5FM on Tuesday after they were finally released from Nsawam Prison revealed that they have lost all their properties while being unjustifiable kept in prison and it will be extremely hard for them to take care of their respective families.
They have both lost their cocoa farms which was a source of livelihood for their families.
Speaking to Starr News, their counsel Bernard Shaw disclosed that he intends to petition the Attorney General to seek some form of compensation for the two innocent persons.
…The Ghanaian Criminal Justice system is very sick. My clients have narrated what they have lost but there is no form of compensation. You only get compensation if you are convicted and you go on appeal and you are freed on appeal even that is discretionary, the Court of Appeal may say compensate the person but if you are aquitted like this, there’s a lacuna in the law, something has to be done when there was no evidence. So I am exploring a whole lot of issues. Maybe I will write a petition to the government (Attorney General) for these guys to be compensated.”
The private legal practitioner further revealed that he might sue the government for malicious prosecution if initial attempts fail to secure compensation for his clients.
”Maybe we have to think outside the box and at the very least, if everything fails I think I might go for malicious prosecution. There was no justification in keeping them and if you have kept them for all this time and we’ve made countless bail applications and you refused them, then something has got to give, but it is early days yet. Nobody [Major Mahama] deserves to die that way, but find the right people and punish them.”
The High Court in Accra a fortnight ago sentenced William Baah, the Assemblyman of Denkyira-Obuasi and 11 others into life imprisonment after they were found guilty for their respective roles in the lynching the late military officer Major Maxwell Mahama.
This was after the seven-member jury comprising of a lady and six gentlemen returned a unanimous guilty verdict against William Baah for abetment.
The Eleven others – Bernard Asamoah alias Daddy, Kofi Nyame a.k.a Abortion, Akwasi Boah, Kwame Tuffour, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Michael Anim, John Bosie, Akwasi Asante, Charles Kwaning, Emmanuel Baidoo, and Kwadwo Anima were also unanimously found guilty for conspiracy.
The Jury also returned a unanimous guilty verdict against Bernard Asamoah, alias Daddy, Kofi Nyame a.k.a Abortion, Charles Kwaning a.k.a Akwasi Boah, Kwame Tuffour, Joseph Appiah Kubi, Michael Anim, Akwasi Asante and Charles Kwaning for the charge of murder.
After sentencing them to life imprisonment, Justice Mariama Owusu, a Justice of the Supreme Court sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court judge, said, the punishment for both conspiracy and the murder are to run concurrently.
Two others – Bismarck Donkor (A8) and Bismark Abanga (A13) who were charged for conspiracy have been acquitted and discharged after the jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict in their favour.
The facts, presented by the prosecution, were that Major Mahama was the commander of a military detachment stationed at Diaso in the Upper Denkyira West District in the Central Region to check illegal mining activities.
At 8 am on May 29, 2017, Major Mahama, wearing civilian clothes but with his sidearm, left his detachment base for a 20-kilometre jogging.
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 mobilised 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”.