The late Maj. Mahama
A pathologist who examined the remains of Major Maxwell Mahama yesterday gave a harrowing account of how the soldier died as he presented an autopsy report to an Accra High Court.
Dr. Lawrence Edusei of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital told the court how pellets were found in some parts of the body of the fallen soldier, who was lynched by an angry mob at Denkyira Obuasi (now New Obuasi) in the Central Region.
Besides, the doctor told the court how the deceased had multiple burns on parts of the body, covering about 54 per cent of the total body surface.
Apart from the pellets and burns, the court also heard that the body was inflicted with multiple cuts, including fractured chest bones.
The doctor told the court that the cause of death was as a result of multiple head injuries due to blunt object and shotguns which he said were ‘unnatural cause of death.’
Major Maxwell Mahama was on a 20-kilometre walk when he was reportedly mistaken for an armed robber by some women from whom he had stopped to buy some snails.
The women, who thought he was an armed robber after spotting his official pistol, reportedly called the assemblyman for the area to raise the alarm.
The assemblyman allegedly organised people in the town to lynch the soldier and later burnt parts of his body.
A total of 14 persons are currently before an Accra High Court charged with abetment and murder of the young soldier.
They have pleaded not guilty to the charges and the pathologist is the 13th prosecution witness in the case.
Yesterday, led in his evidence by Chief State Attorney Evelyn Keelson, the pathologist told the court that he had performed both external and internal examinations on the body.
According to him, the external examinations revealed marks of violence which included burns involving the head, both upper limbs, both lower limbs, and the abdomen.
The internal examinations, he said, revealed bleedings in the brain, while there were also “extensive bleedings on the surface of the lungs and a penetrating injury of the left lung.”
“There was extensive bleeding in the left upper half of the abdomen. The rest of the systems were essentially normal,” Dr. Edusei told the court further.
The doctor also stated that he conducted an X-ray on the body prior to the autopsy to help identify where the bullets entered the body.
He said the X-ray “revealed pellets lodged on the left side of the jaw, the lower end of the right thigh bone and the lower part of the left leg. There was an object lodged at the right side of the pelvic bone that had caused a fracture. I did mention that it was difficult to determine what this object was but it is mostly likely to be from a shotgun.”
George Bernard Shaw, who is representing five of the accused persons during cross-examination, asked him whether it was best practice to conduct the autopsy without the proper contribution of the crime scene experts and ballistic experts.
Dr. Edusei responded that he got adequate information from the police but for the ballistic expert “his work is totally different from mine and I don’t need his contribution to arrive at my conclusion.”
BY Gibril Abdul Razak