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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Shatta Wale, Gang Boys, Pastor Caged

Shatta Wale

Controversial dancehall musician, Charles Nii Armah Mensah, popularly called Shatta Wale, who staged being shot last Monday, has been remanded into police custody by an Accra Circuit Court, over the hoax.

Three of his boys, who according to the police were involved in staging the death prank, have also been remanded alongside their leader who calls himself Shatta Movement Boss, over charges of publication of false news which caused fear and panic in the country.

The accomplices are Kojo Owusu Koranteng, also known as Nana Dope, his special assistant, Eric Venator, alias Gangee, who is a graphic designer and Iddrisu Yussif, who is a beautician.

Jesus Ahuofe

Similarly, the pastor, Stephen Akwasi aka Jesus Ahuofe, the founder and leader of New Life Kingdom Chapel International, who gave the death prophecy about Shatta Wale, triggering the widely-condemned prank, was also remanded in a separate case but connected to the Shatta incident.

The self-acclaimed dance hall king and his boys caused a stir when they published a video which instantly went viral claiming that the ‘I Know My Level’ singer had been shot by unknown gunmen following a prophecy by Jesus Ahuofe.

False Complaint

Court documents indicated that Eric Vanetor had gone to the East Legon Police Station in Accra with Shatta Wale’s sister to report that the musician was missing, but investigations by the police revealed that the information was false.

While Shatta Wale has been charged with one count of publication of false news, his boys, Kojo Owusu Koranteng, Eric Vanetor and Iddris Yussif were charged with one count of abetment of publication of false news to which they all pleaded not guilty before the Circuit Court presided over by His Honour Emmanuel Marvin Essandoh.

Bail Application

Jerry Avenorgbo, counsel for Shatta Wale and his boys pleaded with the court to grant them bail pending the trial, assuring it that the accused persons will appear any time to stand trial.

He said the accused persons have denied the charge leveled against them and the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, as guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution, should be brought to bear.

He assured the court that the accused persons would neither tamper with any evidence nor interfere with police investigation into the case.

Mr. Avenorgbo further told the court that the brief facts of the case presented by the police are ‘one sided’ and said they will in due time reveal the truth to enable the court ensure that justice prevails.

He added that all the accused persons have fixed places of abode and also have persons of good character and sufficient means who are willing to stand as sureties for them.

Bail Opposition

The application was opposed by the prosecution led by Chief Inspector Dennis Terkpetey, who told the court that the accused persons would interfere with investigations when granted bail at this moment.

He said there is another aspect of the case which the police are investigating and there is the likelihood that the accused persons would interfere in the process.

He, therefore, prayed the court to remand them to enable the police conclude their investigations and present their report before the court.

The opposition did not go down well with the defence lawyer who argued on point of law that the police were deliberately attempting to lock up Shatta Wale and his boys, and pleaded with the court not to support such an act.

Court Decision

His Honour Emmanuel Essandor in his ruling held that although the liberty of an accused person is paramount, the safety of society must be considered as well.

He subsequently remanded Shatta Wale and the others to reappear on October 26, 2021.

Pastor Caged

In a related case, Jesus Ahuofe who predicted in a supposed prophecy on a radio station on September 28, 2021 that Shatta Wale was going to be gunned down on October 18, a day after the musician’s birthday, has been remanded by another Circuit Court presided over by Her Honour Ellen Offei Aryeh.

The accused has been charged with the offence of causing fear and panic, and he pleaded not guilty yesterday.

His lawyer, Martin Kpebu, in his application for bail told the court that the accused person is not a flight risk and is willing to appear before the court for trial.

He said the accused has a medical condition and needs to be granted bail so that he can attend hospital for treatment.

The application was however, opposed by the prosecution led by Chief Inspector Dennis Terkpetey, who told the court that the police were still investigating the matter and the accused person who has over a thousand followers could interfere with investigation when granted bail.

The court in its ruling held that although the defence lawyer said that the accused person had a medical condition, there is no evidence before the court except the lawyer’s averment.

She said having listened to the parties in the matter and taking public safety into consideration, she is inclined to remand the accused person to enable the police conclude their investigation and return to court on October 25, 2021.

Radio Presenter

The police as part of the investigations have extended an invitation to a radio presenter called Romeo Ansah aka Nana Romeo whose platform on Accra 100.5 FM, the pastor used to make the death prophecy about Shatta Wale.

A letter signed by Chief Supt. Joseph Oppong, Regional Crime Officer to the General Manager of the radio station said “the Accra Regional Criminal Investigations Department (AR RCID) of the Ghana Police Service is investigating a case of Publication of False News involving accused Bishop Steven Akwasi Appiah.”

It said “On 28/9/2021, the accused made a statement on the programme. ‘Ayeeko Ayeeko’ on Accra 100.5 FM hosted by Romeo Ansah that, a popular Ghanaian dancehall artist called Charles will be attacked and shot dead on 18/10/2021 as a popular South African musician, Lucky Dube was killed in the year 2007. We would appreciate if you could release a copy of the video recording of the programme to us to assist in our investigation. We also request that, you release the host of the Programme, mentioned above to report to us on Friday, 22/10 2021 at 10.00 am to also assist us in this investigation.”

Shooting Hoax

Shatta Wale and his boys have been in police cells since Tuesday after they allagedly staged that the popular has been shot.

There was pandemonium on social media after reports went viral that the popular artist has been shot at East Legon, in Accra, in a drive-by style on Monday night.

It later turned out that Shatta Wale had feigned the whole incident, which is similar to what a woman in Takoradi in the Western Region recently did when she claimed she was kidnapped, but it turned out to be untrue.

Arresting Shatta

On Tuesday at about 9:00 pm, the police issued a statement saying they have arrested Shatta Wale.

On Monday evening, Shatta Wale’s personal assistant, Nana Dope posted on social media that the ‘Shatta Movement’ boss had been shot and was receiving treatment at an unknown medical facility, causing the security agencies to swing into action to control the situation.

Shatta Hiding

Shatta Wale had said he felt threatened and had to go into hiding because the police had failed to deal with the pastor who said he was going to be killed.

He then admitted the prank and said he did it so that the police would arrest the pastor and reportedly said once the pastor had been arrested, he was going to turn himself in to the police.

The pastor reportedly said Shatta Wale’s mother had interceded in prayers to avert the prophecy he gave.

By Gibril Abdul Razak

 

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