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21.05.2007 General News

Instant Justice — Never Again

Instant Justice — Never Again

The mortal remains of Mr Anthony Yeboah-Boateng, the senior health service administrator who was lynched at Atronie last month, were interred over the weekend, with a pastoral attack on the growing pattern of mob action.

In a funeral sermon at the St Anthony Cathedral Church at Goaso in the Brong Ahafo Region, the Catholic Bishop of Goaso, the Most Rev Peter Kwaku Atuahene, tasked religious bodies, traditional authorities and the security agencies to join hands to stop the phenomenon before it got out of hand.

The late Mr Yeboah-Boateng was murdered in cold blood by a group of young men at Atronie, near Sunyani, on Easter Sunday on suspicion that he was part of a Easter Sunday on suspicion that he was part of a criminal gang involved in serial murders in the area.

That was when he was conveying the corpse of his mother-in-law from Sunyani to the Goaso Hospital mortuary.

The Most Rev Peter Atuahene said a number of Ghanaians, especially the youth, had put the rule of law under severe strain by taking the law into their own hands to mete out instant justice to suspects, whether they were guilty or innocent.

Hundreds of mourners from all walks of life were in attendance, including the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, a Deputy Minister of Mines, Lands and Forestry, Mr Andrews Adjei Yeboah, the Brong Ahafo Regional Director of Health Services, Alhaji Dr Mohammed Ibn Ibrahim, district chief executives and some Members of Parliament (MPs).

The Most Rev Atuahene suggested that efforts must be made to deepen the rule of law and respect for human rights in the psyche of all Ghanaians, especially the youth, to get them to desist from meting out instant justice to suspects and rather allow the due process of the law to take its course.

He stated that the youth of Atronie failed to exhibit fellow feeling and described their act as “barbaric and belonging to the animal kingdom”.

The Catholic Bishop of Goaso also observed that if that practice of lawlessness was to stop, then Ghanaians must resolve not to act based on presumptions but to seek the truth before acting.

Story By Samuel Duodu,

Sunyani

The Most Rev Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, the Catholic Bishop of Sunyani, who was part of the officiating clergy at the service, called for a sense of discipline and respect for one's rights among Ghanaians and urged the youth to desist from taking the law into their own hands.

He stated that what happened to the late Mr Yeboah-Boateng could have happened to anybody, saying, “We, must use what happened to the late Yeboah-Boateng to depart from taking mob action against suspects.”

The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, who led the government's delegation to the funeral and burial service, donated ¢10 million as seed money for the establishment of an educational endowment fund for the children of the deceased and also presented ¢10 million on behalf of President Kufuor, while the Asunafo North District Assembly donated ¢10 million to the bereaved family.

The mortal remains of the late Mr Yeboah-Boateng were later laid to rest at the Goaso Cemetery.

Mr Yeboah-Boateng, 38, left behind a widow, Mrs Cecilia Yeboah-Boateng, and four children, comprising two boys and two girls.

Until he met his untimely death, he was also the Presiding Member of the Asunafo North District Assembly and the Vice-President of the St Anthony Cathedral Church at Goaso.

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