Controversial dancehall artist, Shatta Wale could face a jail term if found guilty of causing fear and panic according to the dictates of Ghana’s criminal code.
Yesterday, on a day when a Prophet had earlier prophesied that the artiste will be shot and likely lose his life in an encounter with some assailants, the public relations team of the musician initiated an unthinkable publicity stunt which appears to have backfired extraordinarily.
Breaking his silence on Facebook after the Police issued a notice searching for him, Shatta Wale as usual, played the victim, accusing the Police and media of gross Unprofessionalism.
Infact, Shatta claimed his life is really in danger and will continue to be on the run until he has reasonable cause to believe his life is safe.
But why is the Police searching for Shatta Wale?, and what exactly is the musician guilty of?
The law on causing fear and panic states, “any person who publishes or reproduces any statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or disturb the public peace, knowing or having reason to believe that the statement, rumour or report is false is guilty of a misdemeanour.”
Fear and Panic is one of the most popular and at the same time unpopular laws on Ghana’s statute books because of its chequered history.
The recent application of the law by the Police has prompted critics who say its continued existence in the Criminal Code of 1960 is a dent on the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law.
The Criminal Libel Law was repealed 20 years ago during the tenure of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo as the Justice Minister and Attorney General in the Kufuor regime.
The law was used by the Police in 2010 to prosecute an NPP activist, Nana Darkwa Baafi who publicly claimed that former President Jerry Rawlings set his own house on fire on 14th February this year. It was also applied in the arrest of a teacher in Kumasi for referring to President John Atta Mills as a Chimpanzee.
It will be recalled that the Police also used the same law to prosecute one Amina, who claimed to have been on a Yutong bus, which was attacked in the still of the night by armed bandits who forced the male passengers into a despicable orgy of mass rape with the female passengers.
The question here is; on what grounds is the Police likely to charge Shatta Wale?
In any case, Shatta Wale himself has not claimed to have been attacked or shot, unless he may have publicly said so somewhere.
It appears the whole publicity stunt was poorly conceived by some ignorant dunderheads referred to as members of the artiste’s team (whatever that is).
In any case, the Police needs to make a statement that mischievous undertakings will not be tolerated henceforth, though i can confidently predict that nobody is going to jail, definitely not under the current circumstances.