Mob action, popularly known as ‘mob justice’ seems to have become a part of Ghanaians as for many years people have been taking the laws into their own hands to deal with suspected thieves when they catch them.
Several lives (both innocent and guilty) have been lost as a result of this act but nothing is done about it.
The latest victim, the late Major Maxwell Mahama’s case is however different.
The soldier’s death, which Ghanaians from all walks of life condemned on several platforms have caused the police service to take action to arrest and prosecute all those involved in the ‘murder’.
Some videos of past mob actions have resurfaced and are currently trending on social media.
The first is of a woman who has been stripped naked for allegedly attempting to steal a bag. Another woman was beaten up for stealing soap in a shop. In both videos, the women can be seen pleading for forgiveness but their tormenters will not listen to their plea.
Management of Unibank released a statement earlier this week to inform the public that some of its staff members who were seen in a video heckling a swindler they caught at one of their branches some years ago were severely punished for the act whilst the man was handed over to the police.
The farthest these videos and many others got to when the incidents occurred was social media walls where some people condemned the act whilst others supported it.
Chief Justice-designate, Justice Sophia Akuffo during her vetting at the Parliaments Appointments Committee Friday stated that ‘mob justice’ was a “a misnomer and it’s definitely not justice, and it’s got nothing to do with” justice as delivered by the judiciary.
She explained that society sometimes does not understand why a suspect is freed by the system with people questioning the point in reporting a crime to the police, the need to go through the court process which sometimes delay and therefore employ “self help” as a way of exerting justice by themselves.
Madam Sophia Akuffo assured Ghanaians that the “delivering of quality justice” she is going to preside over would ensure that nobody has a cause to accuse the judiciary of providing the grounds for ‘mob justice’.
Touching on the adage that ‘justice delay is justice denied’, Justice Sophia Akuffo averted the minds of Ghanaians to the other side of the coin that holds that ‘justice hurried is justice buried’ where many have been convicted wrongfully.
She however averred, “So long as there is ‘mob justice’, it means something is not going right, but at least we of the judiciary will do our optimal to ensure that we are not the cause of the mob justice”.