The Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, is advocating for elimination of the jury system from the country’s jurisprudence.
In his view, the jury system is one of the reasons some of the cases delay in court and that, “I personally think that the jury system ought to be eliminated.”
He said this whilst meeting with the family of late Major Maxwell Mahama in Accra, yesterday.
According to him, the current jury system should be blamed for the number of years that the case had travelled in the court.
He pointed out that the trial is sometimes put on hold because one juror was absent. Mr Dame said on the day judgement was given on the case being referenced the court had to wait two hours because a juror was late.
Mr Dame, however, noted that Major Mahama’s murder trial had brought some reforms in the criminal justice system and “We are seeking to reform the jury system.”
He told the family that the government has already dealt with the offences of vigilantism by an Act of Parliament and hoped that the verdict of the court would send a message to the world that mob action has no place in the Ghanaian legal system.
Kaleonah Tizzala, uncle of the late Major Mahama, thanked the A-G and his team for bringing the case to a successful end.
He said, “It has been many years that the family had been in the wilderness and we did not know what to expect. We have been in a lot of pain and we prayed that one day that justice would be ours.
Not because whatever sentence pronounced will bring back our son, but it will make us feel better that the end would be a deterrent to people who may ever think of taking the law into their own hands.
Mother of the deceased, Madam Veronica Bamford, on her part said she rejected a proposal by residents of Denkyira Obuasi to name a street after her son. She said the manner in which her son died was horrific, therefore, will not welcome the proposal.
According to her, looking at the excruciating pain and psychological trauma the family had suffered, the naming of the street in the town after her son would not appease the family.
Madam Veronica added that she had a mental breakdown because of how her son was lynched.
With a trembling voice, she wondered whether she will ever recover from the pain. The grieving mother complained about the bad state of her son’s grave and wanted the government to do something about it.
She also clarified that the promotion of her son’s rank from Captain to Major was an appeasement, but it was a rank he worked for before his untimely death.
Madam Veronica was grateful that though her son was having a gun on him, he did not use it on the mob.
“He had a gun on him, but he didn’t shoot anybody. And I guess if you don’t know, he was the best shooter in his intake. He won the award for the best shooter. My son was a crack shooter. He had a gun, yet he didn’t kill anybody and I’m thankful to God for that. I’m glad he didn’t have anybody’s blood in his hands,” she said.
Major Mahama was murdered in 2017 in the Central region by a mob at Denkyira Obuasi.12 people have been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering the soldier.