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Mob justice :A twisted bargain for equity

BY: Wilson Emmanuel

Since Ghana’s return to constitutional rule, there has been the upsurge of lawlessness on many fronts in recent times. The Pain, trauma, bloodshed, broken bones, fractured limbs, and the ultimate death, all in the name of a twisted argument of getting justice instantly. 

Mob justice refers to a situation in which a large disorganized crowd of people resorts to violence and destruction in an attempt to ensure fairness and equity for themselves without recourse to the institutionalized public bodies entrusted with this responsibility. What makes this act so disheartening is when some witnesses take delight, recording these acts of terror on tape for whatever reason no one knows.

In the view of some critics, this phenomenon is the inevitable evidence of the relics of the turbulent political past that has left indelible prints in the Socio-Political and economic history of the country over the years.   The perpetrators are of the belief that; justice delayed is justice denied therefore, they execute this brutal and barbaric punishment without a trial of the accused. One question that lingers in the minds of true justice seekers is what the law says about this brutal and barbaric act. Whose responsibility Is it to see that this act is annihilated from our system: The police, the court, or the law?

Pondering over the issue as a coin of two sides, where one side thinks this is to deter criminals and the other facet which thinks it’s a disregard for the laws (the constitution) of the land, we were out on the street to collate some perspectives on Mob Justice. Some were of the view that thieves or accused persons deserve all that happens to them and that robbers these days after robbing you also harm you or kill you in the event.

 Others believe that the only justice one can have is justice after fair trial.

In our investigation, we were told this act has become a new normal because some criminals walk the street freely after committing a heinous crime because they are able to pay their way out of jail by greasing a few palms. The salt of this matter will have to do with what someone who has experienced mob justice and has survived has to say.

Akwesi (real name withheld for security reasons) said:

“I was beaten almost to the point of death for buying a phone from a vendor at the Madina Zongo junction, all because they claim he was a thief and by buying from him I was an accomplice. This whole scenario looked like a dream until I couldn’t feel my arms and legs from the beating they were giving me.

I became scared of the dark and barely had a goodnight’s sleep for five years. I probably have never recovered from that trauma to date. One of such incidents that will forever go down in history is the Lynching and murder of Captain Major Mahama, killed at Denkyira Obuasi on May 2019 because he was mistaken as a thief. The sought-after Justice, in this case, seems to feed to the dogs as after his brutal murder he was found innocent and yet most of his murderers walk the earth without facing the consequences of their actions all because most of them were not identified.

One adverse effect of this act is the physiological and mental effect. Waking up in the middle of the night with nightmares and inevitable claustrophobia. I had an extensive conversation with Miss.Tracy Aboagye a mental health nurse and she tells me such individuals hardly recover and hence became mentally unstable.

In a nut shell, mob justice is unlawful and dehumanizing and must stop!!!!!!

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