Religious leaders in Ghana have been cautioned to be measured in their utterances, particularly the way they communicate prophecies, ahead of New Year Eve’s services.
“We want to caution that under Ghanaian law, it is a crime for a person to publish or reproduce a statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace, where that person has no evidence to prove that the statement, rumour or report is true,” the police warned in a statement issued on Monday, December 27.
“It is also a crime for a person, by means of electronic communications service, to knowingly send a communication that is false or misleading and likely to prejudice the efficiency of life-saving service or to endanger the safety of any person,” the statement signed by Superintendent Alexander Obeng, the Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, added.
“A person found guilty under these laws could be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to five years.”
Friday’s services across the nation will be the first since Inspector-General of Police Dr George Akuffo Dampare took office.
He had met religious leaders over prophecies deemed to cause fear and panic in the nation.
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That meeting was precipitated by a fake gun attack on popular musician Shatt Wale, who had later indicated he took that action as a result of a prophecy by the Founder and Leader of New Life Kingdom Chapel, Bishop Stephen Kwesi Appiah, on an Accra-based radio station before the Monday, October 18 incident.
The Man of God, popularly known as Jesus Ahuofe, was arrested and later granted a GH¢100,000 bail.
The police admitted that they are not against prophecies especially in a country where the centrality of God is in the lives of many.
“There should be no apprehensions, therefore, about undertaking the various activities.
“We ask only that everyone keeps within the law and is mindful of the welfare of each other.”