Dancehall artiste, Charles Nii Armah Mensah, has been fined GH¢2,000 in the case in which he claimed to have been shot in a viral video.
The 37-year-old musician, known in the entertainment circles as Shatta Wale, was hauled before the Accra Circuit Court with three others on 21 October 2021.
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.
He later took to social media to apologise to his fans and other people who had been affected by what he described as a prank.
He cited a prophecy made by the founder and leader of New Life Kingdom Chapel International, Bishop Stephen Akwasi, that he would be shot dead on 18 October 2021.
According to the artiste, he was surprised that the security services could not give him protection after that prophecy, thus his reason for the prank video.
When Shatta made his first appearance in court, he pleaded not guilty to the count of publication of false news that caused fear and panic in the public domain on his first appearance.
But, he later changed to a guilty plea, warranting the fine by the Circuit Court presided by Emmanuel Essandoh.
He must pay a fine of GH¢ 2,000, or in default, he will be imprisoned for three months.
Before the court’s judgment, counsel for the accused, Jerry Avenogbor, pointed out that his client was a first-time offender who has since shown remorse for his youthful exuberance.
He noted that what occurred has stopped false prophecies in the country. Mr Avenogbor argued that his client’s actions had created a positive vibe since he took those steps, and none of the so-called prophets has done that again.
The prosecution, led by Assistant Superintendant of Police (ASP) Maxwell Oppong, did not oppose the change of plea.
The trend of changing pleas in court has become a popular trend for most artistes and other notable figures arrested for various offences in the country.
For some, the idea of going through months and years of court proceedings encourages them to change their pleas. As entertainers, others also want the freedom to travel on business engagements since a criminal suit before a court restricts them from movement outside Ghana.
It will be recalled that on 21 February 2022, Rapper Samuel Kofi Frimpong, also known as Medikal, was convicted and subsequently fined GH₵3,600 by the Accra Circuit Court for brandishing a gun on social media.
Per the facts, the accused person, in September 2021, whilst in his car, without any reasonable excuse, displayed a rugger 9mm pistol and posted the video on his snap chat social media platform.
This was after the 28-year-old musician, who was charged with the display of arms and ammunition, changed his plea from not guilty to guilty.
On 14 April 2021, actress Rosemond Brown, known as Akuapem Poloo, was also convicted on her own plea by the Circuit Court for posting nude photos of herself and her son on social media.
This was after she made a U-turn on her earlier plea, from not guilty to guilty.
On 30 June 2020, the actress posted a picture of herself and her son on his seventh birthday. Rosemond was captured naked, kneeling before the toddler, who was only seen in underpants.
While many criticised the actress over the photo, others jumped to her defence. The actress later rendered an apology.
On 16 June 2021, a self-styled fetish priestess Patricia Asiedu, also known as Nana Agradaa, was convicted and sentenced by an Accra Circuit Court.
The conviction came after she changed her plea from not guilty to guilty on Wednesday, 16 June.
She was dragged to court for charlatan advertisements concerning the ‘sika gari’ programme she showed on live TV and broadcasting without a license.
Nana Agradaa was sentenced to a fine of 3,000 penalty units (GH₵36,000) on count one, which is operating a TV station without a license.
In default, she could serve a three-year jail term in hard labour.
For the offence of charlatanic advertisement (Sika Gari), the court sentenced her to a fine of GH₵10, 000.
In default, she could serve a year in court.
The court said the sentences are to run concurrently which meant the payment of the highest fine was is GH₵36, 000.