The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Upper Denkyira West, Daniel Apiannin, whose comments about the gruesome murder of Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama at Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region sparked rage among Ghanaians a few days ago, has been suspended by President Akufo-Addo.
The suspended DCE, according to the directive, is to hand over to Thomas Agyei Baffour, the Deputy Central Regional Minister.
The decision to suspend Daniel was communicated by Hajia Alima Mahama, the Local Government Minister.
“The president has directed that we do some investigations on the matter and on his [Daniel’s] conduct and report. In the interim, he is to hand over his duties to the Deputy Central Regional Minister [Thomas Agyei Baffour]. Therefore, for now, he has been suspended,” the minister stated.
So far, 13 people have been arrested in connection with the murder, with seven arraigned before court yesterday.
Some of the suspects were arrested in neigbouring regions like Brong-Ahafo and Western and sent to the Central Region for investigation.
One of the men suspected to be behind the lynching of Capt. Mahama was found dead at Modaso, a village near Denkyira-Obuasi.
Confirming the incident to Citi Fm, the Diaso District Police Commander, ASP Osei Adu-Agyeman, said the dead body was found in a pool of blood by the police, following a report by the assemblyman of the area.
He added that an ID card found on the suspect revealed his identity as Francis Bio.
“This morning, the assemblyman in Diaso electoral area reported at the station that around 6:15, he had a message that a male adult aged about 46, had been found dead at the outskirts of Modaso, another village about 6 kilometres from Diaso, so the police went to the place. Fortunately, he had a voters’ ID card on him so we have found his identity. We found a deep cut on the left upper side of his throat, but as to what led to the death is what the police are investigating now,” he narrated.
Hajia Alima Mahama stated that the investigation, which would be supervised by the Central Regional Minister, is to cover “the recent events and what has happened in the press – his utterances and all that.”
She stated further, “We need to have a good view of that, find out what happened and thereafter; we will look at his actions and decide whether he should be relieved of his position. But in the interim, he is on suspension… His utterances have been there. People have questioned the utterances and all that. We are a responsible government. We respond to the queries of people so we are responding and asking him to go on suspension.”
The family of the deceased on Wednesday urged Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia to reprimand the DCE over his comments.
Earlier, veteran journalist Abdul Malik Kweku Baako Jnr had also called on the government to dismiss the DCE who has been in office barely a month ago.
Captain Mahama, who was with the 5th Infantry Battalion, was lynched while jogging at dawn on Monday.
He was allegedly stoned to death and partly burnt by the youth of the area who mistook him for an armed robber.
Daniel Appianin was reported to have among other things said, “I was at the scene; they’ve arrested a lot of men; they’ve beaten a number of them; they’ve camped women and children in a church. What happened when the robbery happened? Didn’t we realize that we need to bring security to come and protect the people? One person is dead and it is bringing the entire military to the place. This is the country we are living in.”
His comments attracted instant criticism, considering the grisly and chilling circumstances under which Captain Mahama was killed.
The 31-year-old soldier was said to be head of a military detachment that had been sent to the area to stop illegal mining activities, popularly known as galamsey but was reportedly lynched by natives who allegedly mistook him for an armed robber upon sighting a pistol on him while he was jogging.
On hearing the news, obviously distraught President Akufo-Addo sent his vice, Dr Bawumia, to go and commiserate with the bereaved family at the Burma Camp in Accra.
Just yesterday, President Akufo-Addo could not but suspend the DCE until investigations on the matter is completed.
In an audio recording, he noted, “I’ve had to do something I consider reluctant but which I felt it was necessary to do. The District Chief Executive made comments in this matter that appear to be somehow provocative; I’m taking the decision that he should be suspended pending an enquiry into all the circumstances of the matter.”
President Akufo-Addo stated, “I was extremely upset to hear about the news of the death of Captain Mahama. To me [it was] a complete waste of a valuable life, [under] the circumstances that do no credit anybody.” This was after his wife, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, had visited the widow to console her and the rest of the bereaved family for the loss of their dear one.
“Very very sad to hear about it and will like to extend my sincerest and deepest condolences to his wife and family,” President Akufo-Addo said.
“One thing which is clear, I’ve told the law enforcement agencies that they should spare no stone [to] make sure that those who were responsible for this brutal act are brought to face the consequences and brought before trial in our courts and justice done accordingly,” President Akufo-Addo assured Ghanaians and the family.
“We have to have a country where the rule of law works. I have been fighting for that all my life and now that I am in the chair, I have to make sure that there is meaning to it,” he maintained.
Meanwhile, former President John Mahama has cautioned against the politicisation of the murder of Captain Mahama.
The former president said the incident is a national tragedy that should prompt all citizens to rally around the family of the deceased.
During a visit to the slain soldier’s family yesterday, Mr Mahama said all the perpetrators must be dealt with to set the right tone in the country.
Strangely, his party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketia, has joined the fray calling for the head of President Akufo-Addo over the murder.
The father of the slain soldier, Captain Rtd Adam Mahama has said his son’s death should serve us a wake-up call to all Ghanaians to discard instant justice.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu & Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson