Ghana In The Eyes Of Lawlessness: A Call To Action

June 5, 2017 Africa , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS



Isaac Abban


Africa has been viewed by many pundits as a continent rife with three main evils; corruption, coup d’etats and civil wars. The attention given to these three evils is so undivided to the extent that there is a total neglect of other issues.

Mob justice is not a new phenomenon in Ghana and Africa. It occurs in many shapes and forms and in most cases the perpetrators of such heinous and atrocious crimes go unpunished. What is even more baffling is the fact that when such barbaric acts are directed at the poor and destitute no one pays attention to its magnitude and ramifications. On the contrary, when it happens to the rich and the privileged in society, the media sheds light on it, the rich in society condemn it, the poor wail and all society is held agog as if mob justice is a new phenomenon.

The whole of Ghana was thrown into a state of utter shock and dismay upon hearing the death of an accomplished military man, Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama who happened to have been dispatched to Denkyira Obuasi, a town in the Central region of Ghana to curtail issues of illegal mining popularly termed as ‘galamsey’. However this peace mission, geared towards the restoration of the country’s land and water bodies, would eventually lead to the death of this esteemed gentleman. Upon hearing the sad news questions began ringing through my mind. Is mob justice a new phenomenon in most African societies including Ghana? What measures have been put in place in the past to punish perpetrators of such heinous and atrocious acts? Why would people resort to mob justice to the neglect of the justice system? What mechanisms have been put in place in the past to curtail the occurrence of such injustices and restore confidence in the justice system? I believe that candid answers to these questions would calm tempers down and will going forward put our institutions to work to seriously deal with such atrocious escapades.

Mob justice in any shape or form should be condemned and must not be given any place in this universe of law. Mob justice simply implies that people charged with an offense are outright denied their natural right to life and right to a counsel. Such injustice must not be allowed to exist in Ghana if we continue to espouse our democratic ideals. It also connotes that persons who engage in such heinous crimes do not have confidence in the justice system hence they resort to instant justice.

In the case of Ghana I implore that these perpetrators be severely dealt with to serve as a deterrent to others and forestall the occurrence of such phenomenon in the future. The police, courts, civil society organizations, academic institutions and churches must all take up the responsibility of educating the populace on the dangers of resorting to mob justice. Also the government must take a keen interest in restoring confidence in the country’s justice system to enable citizens to believe in the laws that exist. I will end by quoting a short poem as a token to the bereaved family.


“Weep not, child

Weep not, my darling

With these kisses let me remove your tears

The ravening clouds shall not long be victorious

They shall not long possess the sky”.


Walt Whitman.






Isaac Abban

I’m Isaac Abban, a 24 year old man and a final year student studying Geography and Sociology at the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. I hail from Cape Coast in the central region of Ghana and have a keen interest in seeing to it that my generation and generations yet unborn in Africa are set free from the perils of illiteracy, ignorance and poverty. As an astute writer I believe that through writing the world can be made a better place.


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