Mobila Killers Get 30 Years
By Ivy Benson
Two personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces, who unleashed terror on the former Northern Regional Chairman of the Convention People’s Party (CPP) in 2004, leading to his death in the Kamina Barracks, have been convicted on the charge of manslaughter.
Corporal Yaw Appiah and Private Seth Goka, who were facing the charge of murdering Alhaji Issa Mobila, who was the then chairman of the Northern Region branch of the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), had their charges changed to a lesser offense and pronounced guilty on the charge of manslaughter by a-seven-member jury yesterday.
The Fast Track Court (FTC), presided over by Justice Mustapha Habib Logoh, consequently sentenced Corporal Yaw Appiah, who was then the commander of the guard-room at the time Mobila was brought from the Northern Regional Police Headquarter for safety, to 10 years imprisonment.
The court further sentenced Private Seth Goka, who is on the run and being tried in absentia, to 20 years imprisonment. The judge, while sentencing Corporal Yaw Appiah took account of the volatile situation in the Northern Region at the time and the number of years the convict had spent in detention, after defense counsel, Mr. Thaddeus Sory pleaded for mitigation on behalf of his client.
It had been in evidence that Corporal Yaw Appiah had confessed beating the deceased, but not his intention to kill him. The act, according to Corporal Yaw Appiah, was obeying and complying with orders from his superior, who was then standing close by watching.
The pathologist’s report on the corpse of Issa Mobila revealed that he was sent to the Northern Regional Hospital dead, and that he died from multiple wounds.
In his judgment, the court noted that Corporal Yaw Appiah and Private Seth Goka, who together unleashed Issa Mobila with deep lacerations all over his body, causing his untimely death, take full responsibility to their actions, whether or not they were complying with order from a superior.
According to the court, the action complied by the two military personnel was illegal and, therefore, they were deemed to have acted illegally and should take responsibilities for their actions and its consequences.
Alhaji Issa Mobila was arrested by the police on December 9, 2004 for allegedly supplying the youth in Tamale with guns to foment trouble.
While in custody, the police claimed they received information that his followers and sympathizers were mobilizing to free him from custody.
The deceased was consequently transferred from police cells to the Kamina Military Barracks and handed him over to Corporal Yaw Appiah, Private Eric Modzaka and Private Seth Goka, who were then on duty at the Kamina Barracks.
Alhaji Mobila latter died in military custody, three hours after he had been handed over to the three soldiers. Meanwhile, late last year, the court on a submission of no case, discharged all three persons on conspiracy charges and freed Private Eric Modzaka of murder charges for lack of evidence.
The court had indicated that no case had been made against Private Modzaka as an alibi he pleaded, was found to be true.
Private Modzaka had emphatically denied that he was present at the scene when the crime was committed as he sought permission from his commander, Corporal Yaw Appiah, to go out to town before the incidence.
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