By Malik Sullemana
Two of Ghana’s popular dance hall artistes, Charles Nii Armah Mensah and Livingstone Etse Satekla have appeared before the Accra Magistrate Court, charged with offensive conduct and breach of public peace.
The accused, known in the music circles as Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy respectively, were earlier arrested and granted bail by the police for causing disturbances at the just ended Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA), on Saturday.
They had pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted GH¢50,000 bail with a surety each.
The two have been charged with offence conduct, while Satekla is facing additional charge of displaying weapon in public without permission.
Presiding Magistrate Mr Isaac Addo admonished the award winning stars to be of good behaviour pending the determination of the case.
The fans and members of their various groups known as Shatta Movement and Bhim Nation turned up in their numbers to solidarise with the musicians.
In their appeals to the court to grant the accused bail, counsel for Mensah and Satekla, Messrs Jerry Avenogbor and Selila Woanho, respectively told the court that their clients had cooperated with the police, that they are public figures, that they are not flight risk and would not abscond from justice.
A highly placed source at the Accra Regional Police Command, told the Ghanaian Times on Monday that the two, then suspects, had given separate statements to the police.
The source said the police had mounted a search for the arrest of a member of Stonebwoy’s team who allegedly handed over a gun to the musician during the red carpet ceremony on Saturday.
Meanwhile, a press release issued and signed by the Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Effia Tenge, and sighted by the Ghanaian Times, condemned the disturbances that characterised the VGMA.
DSP Tenge said preliminary investigation however, revealed that the disturbances occurred after Stonebwoy was declared winner of the Reggae Dancehall Artiste of the Year award and had mounted the stage to receive his award when Shatta Wale also moved on stage uninvited, provoking a scuffle between them and their supporters.
She said another suspect, Nii Amoo, who was seen discharging pepper spray in the hall was also arrested.
The case stands adjourned.