An Accra Circuit Court has ordered the Police to release the mobile phones of Charles Nii Armah Mensah a.k.a. Shatta Wale, a dancehall artiste, and three others to them.
The Court presided over by Emmanuel Essandoh ruled that the alleged offences were known on social media.
According to the Court “it is also known that there is privilege access to information hence mobile phones of accused persons must be released them.
The matter is adjourned to December 7, the court ruled.
The order came after Mr Jerry Avenorgbo, defense counsel for Shatta Wale and three others, had prayed the Court for the release of the phones.
Mr Avenorgbo told the Court that accused persons’ numerous belongings were confiscated and their mobile phones were included in the list of items still in the custody for the police.
Defense counsel said the rights of his clients were being hampered and “we pray this honourable court to grant the application for the police to release their phones.”
Counsel held that the information on the phones now belonged to Instagram and Twitter.
Mr Avenorgbo questioned the basis for the confiscation of the phones, saying the Police even needed the court’s order do so.
“We are in court over a chat that was visualized on social media and same were accessible. Depriving these people a right to survival is more like telling them to go and die. Everything is on social media ……attempting to go into the phone might lead to the discovery of things that are very private.”
Mr Samuel Ofori another defense counsel said once the phones were with the Police any other incriminating thing could be added to the charges.
Prosecution led by Chief Inspector Dennis Terkpertey said the publications were done through the use of the phones so they were very material to their case.
He said”in the interest of justice, we pray that those phones should not be released.”
According to Prosecution, it would be premature for the phones to be released.
“We are going into the phones. We need an order of the court to go into the phones and these phones must be sent to the cyber-crime unit of the Ghana Police Service for further investigation,” Prosecution contended.
According to him, there was one person they were looking for to change the facts and he prayed the Court for a date to file their amended processes.
The trial Judge asked “what exactly do you want?
Prosecution in response said “we’ll come before you formally with an application as there are important information on the phones.
Charles Nii Armah Mensah a.k.a. Shatta Wale who was held for publication of false news, has been granted self recognisance bail by an Accra Circuit Court.
The dancehall artiste self recognisance bail is in the sum of GH¢100,000.
Shatta Wale is said to have published false news over his alleged shooting incidence following a prophesy by one Prophet known as Jesus Ahoufe.
Shatta Wale is being held over false publication of news.
The three other accomplices – Kojo Owusu Koranteng, a personal assistant, Eric Venator, a graphic designer, and Iddrisu Yusif, have been charged with abetment.
They have pleaded not guilty.
The said man of God is said to have prophesied that the dance hall artiste would be shot on October 18, 2021 just as the South African Reggae artiste Lucky Dube.