The possible reaction triggered by comments made by Lawrence Nana Asiamah Hanson a.k.a. Bulldog on the United Showbiz programme, aired on Accra based United Television (UTV) on Saturdays became the focus of the trial at the Accra Circuit Court Tuesday.
Theodosia Antwiwaa Appiah, who is the second prosecution witness in the trial of Bulldog, testified that the alleged comments made against President Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, was likely to incite the public against the President hence her decision to report the issue to the police for investigation.
The prosecution witness, who is also a complainant in the case was answering questions under cross-examination by counsel for Bulldog, Mr Jerry Avenorgbo.
The witness stated in paragraph seven of her witness statement that the comments made by Bulldog was likely to breach the peace in Ghana and counsel had wanted to refute that through the cross-examination.
Asked by counsel to explain that paragraph of her witness statement, the witness explained that Bulldog was a public figure with many followers adding that “what he will say might have impact on the ordinary Ghanaian and someone might see him as a mentor and would like to follow his footsteps.”
“..The comment is likely to incite people against the President that is why I reported it to the police for investigation,” she said.
While the witness admitted that although another programme on UTV may have “denigrating”, “annoying”, “destructive” comments that could trigger the level of reaction she had from Bulldog’s comments, it was Bulldog’s comment that caught her attention adding that “I felt it was not the best so I had to act towards it.”
Hanson, an Artiste Manager, is facing the court for allegedly saying on the United Showbiz programme that “President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo will not finish his four year term if he failed to pay customers of an alleged ponzi scheme by Menzgold.”
He has denied the charge of offensive conduct to breach of the peace.”
The court, presided over by Mrs. Evelyn Asamoah, has admitted Hanson to his former bail of GH¢70,000.
Meanwhile the accused person has been served with disclosures and all the documents the prosecution intends to rely on.
This was after a case management conference had been conducted with accused and the prosecution, agreeing on timelines on which the case would be conducted.
Counsel [Avenorgbo]: Did you see anyone go to the street or act violent as a result of the comment?
Witness [Theodosia Antwiwaa Appiah]: I do not need to see anyone in that act before I report to the police.
Counsel: Did the statement made on the show encourage you in any way to breach the peace of this country?
Witness: No my Lord, it did not but we all have different motives.
The over two-hour cross-examination which started at 12 noon ended at 2:18 p.m. after which the witness was discharged.
The prosecution is expected to call its third witness at the next adjourned date.
The facts as presented by prosecution, led by Chief Inspector Apiosornu, were that the complainants in the case are citizens and regular viewers of the 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, this year, the programme was aired on UTV as usual and the accused was one of the panelists who appeared on the show.
Chief Inspector Apiorsornu said during the programme, the issue of Menzgold was raised and Hanson quickly responded 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.”
The Prosecution said on January 11, this year, the Police intercepted the said video recording on the face book page of UTV, which attracted many comments from viewers who watched and heard the accused making those “unguided” comments.
The prosecution said on January 12, this year, Hanson was handed over to the Police by the National Intelligence Bureau for investigations.
He said in the course of the investigations, the Police requested for the original video recording from UTV and it was played to the accused and he 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.