Following the arrest of dance hall singer, Shatta Wale, for allegedly spreading false information, private legal practitioner, Samson Lardy Anyenini has said that spreading false or misleading information convenes the Electronic Communications Act,2008,(Act 775) and Shatta Wale if convicted could face up to five years in prison or pay a fine up to the tune of GHC 36, 000.
Shatta Wale had announced that he had been shot and was receiving treatment for his gunshot wounds in a hospital, but it has turned out to be a hoax. Shatta Wale then turned himself in after hiding from police.
In a Facebook post cautioning people against spreading false information, Mr Anyenini contained in an earlier article he wrote, the host of Joy Fm’s news analysis programme Newsfile wrote:
“Pray – Meantime, stop circulating false or misleading information because by section 76 of the electronic coms law, you face a fine of up to GHC 36,000 or up to five years in jail for such act.
By section 208 of our criminal code, you also face up to three years in jail if you don’t verify and spread a false statement, rumour or report that can cause fear and panic.”
Section 76, Electronic Communications Act, 2008 (Act 775) reads:
“(1) A person who by means of electronic communications service, knowingly sends a communication which is false or misleading and likely to prejudice the efficiency of life saving service or to endanger the safety of any person, … commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than [thirty six thousand Ghana Cedis] or to a term of imprisonment of not more than five years or both.
(2) A person is taken to know that a communication is false or misleading if that person did not take reasonable steps to find out whether the communication was false, misleading, reckless or fraudulent.”
Meanwhile some celebrities have starting a campaign for Shatta Wale to be spared any charges including causing fear panic.