An Accra Circuit Court has ordered state prosecution to release the mobile phones belonging to Shatta Wale and his teammates, which are still in police possession.
This was after lawyer of the accused persons Jerry Avenorgbo prayed the court to order the prosecution to release the phones to him.
Counsel for the accused person told the trial judge Emmanuel Essandoh that the items were confiscated upon his clients’ arrest and have since not been released.
He argued that his clients are lifestyle and entertainment personalities who largely depend on their mobile phones, the police’s continuous withholding of the same hinders their survival.
According to Mr Avenorgbo, all pieces of information the police would need for their investigation are already on social media as such, going into his clients’ phones would only serve to breach their privacy.
Prosecution was not in agreement but the court sided with the defense team and directed the phones be returned to the owners.
“It is not the work of the defense to help the prosecution to do their case. After all, the accused is presumed innocent until proven otherwise. The phones of the accused should be released to them. The alleged offences were allegedly made on social media,” the judge said on Tuesday, November 9.
The case has been adjourned to December 7, 2021.
Meanwhile, in the same court, when the case of Ghanaian rapper, Samuel Adu Frimpong, aka Medikal, was called, the same prosecutor for Shatta Wale, prayed the court to adjourn the case.
The court adjourned the display of arm and ammunition case against the rapper to December 7.
Why Shatta Wale and three others are in court
The 37-year-old dancehall artiste Charles Nii Armah Mensah, popularly known as Shatta Wale, and three others were hauled before the court on October 21.
The artiste is alleged to have masterminded false information suggesting that he was shot by unknown assailants at East Legon and was receiving treatment for bullet wounds at an undisclosed health facility.
Shatta has since pleaded not guilty to the count of publication of false news that caused fear and panic in the public domain.
Three others who appeared in court with him Kojo Owusu Koranteng, Shatta’s personal assistant, Eric Vanetor, a graphic designer and Iddrisu Yussif, a beautician, were charged for abetment of criminal publication of false news.
Police said preliminary investigations revealed that the widely reported gunshot attack on Shatta Wale on Monday, October 18, was a hoax.
Shatta Wale is currently on a 100,000 self-recognizance bail with the other two on a GHc100, 000, bail sum.
Shatta Wale’s apology
The artiste took to social media to apologize to his fans and other people who had been affected by what he described as a prank.
He said he took the phones of the team members and made the fake post.
He made reference to a prophecy that was made by the founder and leader of New Life Kingdom Chapel International, Stephen Akwasi, that he would be shot dead on 18 October 2021.
According to Shatta Wale, he was surprised that the security services could not give him protection after that prophecy came.
“So the police of this country want to tell me none of them saw those threatening statements online to take action?
“This pastor said 18 October, Shatta Wale will be shot, and you want to tell me you didn’t see from your cyber crime department, nor did you hear or come across anything like that online?
“I won’t wait for Ghana police to call my father and tell my father his son got shot this afternoon. I won’t wait for Ghana stupid media houses to spread the news to my fans about me being shot because all we wish in this country is for dead people and funerals.
“If my life can be threatened and there is no law to take action on that, then I guess I will do what is right in the eyes of God,” he posted on Facebook.
In a viral video, the founder and leader of New Life Kingdom Chapel International, Bishop Stephen Akwasi, predicted that Shatta Wale would lose his life on October 18, similar to that of South African reggae artiste, Lucky Dube, who was shot on October 18, 2007.
The pastor in question was subsequently arrested on October 19, at the premises of Accra FM while preparing for an interview on the station’s mid-morning show.
He was charged for causing fear and panic. He, however, pleaded not guilty and was remanded into prison custody for five days.