Police warn against false prophecies
Sammy Darko challenges Police stance
Nigel Gaisie engages press on Police statement
Prophet Nigel Gaisie, the founder and leader of the Prophetic Hill Chapel has assured his congregation of prophecies on New Year’s eve, i.e. Friday, December 31, 2021.
Nigel Gaisie in a Facebook post assuaged fears among his followers that there will be fireworks on Friday despite the caution by the Ghana Police Service.
“Almost all the leading media houses in Ghana were in my office today. No worries …..There will surely be prophecies on Friday. No fears at all. God is still speaking. Come very early because this year will be HOT*PNG,” he posted on Facebook Tuesday, December 28, 2021.
Nigel Gaisie was reacting to the statement by the Ghana Police Service which warned of consequences if any religious leader engages in activity likely to cause ‘fear and panic’.
The Police warned that certain prophecies are illegal and that they will be compelled to arrest any prophet who engages in such acts.
“As the year 2021 draws to a close, the Ghana Police wish to draw the attention of Ghanaians, especially religious groups, to the fact that whereas we have the right to religion, freedom of worship and free speech, all these rights are subject to the respect of the right and freedom of others, according to our laws.
“Over the years, communication of harm, danger and death by some religious leaders have created tension and panic in the Ghanaian society and put the lives of many people in fear and danger.
“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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, some legal practitioners have contested the legality of the Police’s statement, arguing that their actions amount to suppression of freedom of speech and press freedom. Lawyer Sammy Darko in a Facebook post stated that the police are seeking to regulate religious activities and that is against the laws of the country.
“You want to use section 76 of Act 775 ( Electronic Communications Act, 2008) as amended and section 208 of Act 29 ( Criminal Offences Act) as amended to suppress freedom of expression and prophesy?
“The only weapon you have and you are abusing is power of arrest. After all, even if the person is arrested and you are unable to sustain a charge, you know many Ghanaians will not sue and even if they sue it’s not your pay that will be used to pay for those judgment debts. And this is all because some lawyers and Ghanaians agreed with you when you arrested a pastor? How far with that trial?
“Let’s not encourage aberrations of laws more particularly on free speech. Even Li2224 was shot down by SC. A law as important as controlling media content and you want to control what people say. Law on fear and panic is for grave conduct that causes alarm and false communication is for false information that disrupts or affects life-saving services or endanger people and means of transport.
“Anyway, I just blame our law makers and the executive. Section 208 should be amended and or scrapped completely and education made on section 76 of Act 775,” he shared on social media.