An Accra Circuit Court has acquitted and discharged Bishop Steven Akwasi Appia, alias “Jesus Ahonfe”, who was arraigned for stating that Charles Nii Armah Mensah, alias Shatta Wale, a popular dancehall artist, would be shot dead.
The statement, which was made on Accra FM, was said to have caused fear and panic among the public for, which reason he was charged for false publication, to which he pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution called two witnesses, including Nana Romeo, the host of the “Ayeeko Ayekoo” programme on, which the accused allegedly made the statement, but the Court ruled that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie (a case) against him for, which he must defend himself.
Bishop Appia was, therefore, set free by the Court presided over by Mrs Hellen Ofei-Ayeh.
Inspector Daniel Ofori-Appiah, who held brief for the substantive prosecutor, had earlier informed the Court that the Reverend Minister lived at West Legon, a suburb of Accra.
The prosecution said on September 28, 2021, the Accused was hosted in the studios of Accra FM 100.5, on a programme dubbed: “Ayeeko Ayeeko”, hosted by Romeo Ansah, alias Nana Romeo, where he (Accused) allegedly said that on October 18, 2021, a popular dancehall artist in Ghana called Charles would be attacked by armed robbers and shot dead like what happened to a popular South African musician called Lucky Dube in the year 2007.
The Court heard that the video of the programme went viral on social media, which caused fear and panic among the public.
The prosecution said on October 19, 2021, the Police Intelligence Directorate at Police Headquarters intercepted the video, arrested the accused and handed him over to the Regional Criminal Investigations Department, Accra for investigation.
In his investigation cautioned statement to the Police, the Reverend Minister admitted the offense but said he was forced by the Programme Host to mention Charles Nii Armah Mensa’s name.