The Accra Circuit Court, yesterday imposed a GH¢48,000 fine on Lawrence Nana Asiamah Hanson, for threatening the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on Accra-based United Television (UTV) over payments to Menzgold customers.
Nana Hanson, popularly known as Bulldog, will serve 40 days in prison with hard labour in default.
Bulldog pleaded not guilty to the charge of offensive conduct conducive to the breach of peace.
Delivering the judgement yesterday, the presiding judge, Mrs Evelyn Asamoah found that Bulldog’s comment that “President Akufo-Addo will not finish his four-year term if he does not pay the deposit of Menzgold customers”, amounted to constitutional and security concerns.
She added that the fact that the UTV show was televised and shared on social media platforms, viewers who agreed with Bulldog’s views could be incited by his words.
In his defence, Nana Hanson claimed that his comment was intended to appeal to the conscience of the President to refund the monies to Menzgold’s customers, but the court disagreed with that assertion and that accused per his utterances had knowledge of the Menzgold saga.
Lawyer for Bulldog, Lord Essandoh, who held brief for Jerry Avernorgbor, pleaded for a non-custodial sentence, citing Bulldog as a first time offender, well-known member of society and a father of three who was the breadwinner.
The lawyer said that accused through the pendency of the trial had learned to be remorseful and was also blighted with health issues.
However, he (Bulldog) paid the full amount by the close of the work day which was the deadline.
The prosecution, led by Chief Inspector Simon Apiosornu, said that the complainants in the case are citizens and regular viewers of UTV programme dubbed “United Showbiz,” hosted by Nana Ama Agyemang Mcbrown, which is live every Saturday between the hours of 9pm and midnight.
The prosecution said on January 9, 2021, the programme was aired on UTV and the accused was a panelist.
Chief Insp Apiorsornu said that during the programme, the issue of Menzgold was raised, and Nana Hanson said that “The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo will not finish his four year tenure if he failed to pay Menzgold customers.”
He said that on January 11, 2021, the police intercepted the said video recording on the Face book page of UTV, which attracted many comments from those who watched and heard the accused making those “unguided” comments.
The prosecution said on January 12, 2021, Nana Hanson was handed over to the police by the National Intelligence Bureau for investigations.
Chief Insp Apiorsornu said in the course of the investigations, when the police played the original video recording obtained from UTV, the accused admitted having made those comments.
The prosecution said the original video, which was in Twi and English Language was forwarded to the Ghana Institute of Languages for transcription and same was transcribed into English language.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO