The military captain who was reportedly lynched by some residents of Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region was the leader of a military detachment dispatched to the community to protect some Chinese engaging in illegal mining (galamsey) in a forest reserve in the area.
The late Captain Maxwell Mahama was lynched by residents on suspicion of being an armed robber while he went on jogging.
According to his subordinates in the military, the officer with the 5th Infantry Batallion (5BN) was the ‘detachment commander of our troops on operational duties in the area’.
The District Chief Executive (DCE) for Upper Denkyira West District, Daniel Appianing reacting to this on Adom FM Tuesday expressed shock at the statement of the military as according to him, there is no military base or barracks in the area hosting the military detachment.
According to him, the lynched military man was rather the head of a military detachment in the area which is protecting a group of Chinese nationals who are illegally mining gold in the Upper Wassa Forest.
The Chinese, he said despite having a license to prospect for gold in the forest are rather engaged in illegal mining and are heavily protected by the military who prevents residents of the community to enter the forest.
“There is a large number of military personnel protecting the Chinese that the lynched soldier is alleged to be part of it, in fact he is said to be the leader…am shocked they are not briefing you very well but rather claiming they are here to fight galamseyers…,” he said.
He further challenged persons who doubt his claim to contact the police and BNI commanders in his district for confirmation. “As I speak, there are reports that the BNI is calling on the military to help stop it because it is creating disaffection between the residents and the military…,” he said.
Daniel Appianing said the presence of the military is hampering the fight against small scale mining in the area.
“He was the leader of the soldiers protecting the Chinese galamseyers, anyone can confirm it from the police hierarchy here, and the BNI as well…,” he alleged further.
The lynching of the military man, he said happened some days after an armed robbery attack within the Denkyira-Obuasi town.
Military High Command disagree
Reacting to this allegation on the same show, Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul called on the DCE to keep quiet and not to talk on the issue again as he is unaware of the facts.
The late Captain Mahama, he said is part of Operation Halt 2, an anti-Galamsey activity which is being undertaken by the military.
“I don’t know who this DCE is but he should not speak on this again because he does not understand the issue…,” he said.
He further charged the DCE to present the said BNI reports which he claims to have to the District Security Committee (DISEC) for forwarding to Accra.
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