VGMA Chaos: Police search for man who handed pistol to Stonebwoy
The Accra Regional Police Command has mounted a search for the person who was seen in a viral video handing over a pistol to the dancehall artiste, Livingstone Etse Satekla, known in showbiz circles as Stonebwoy, during the disturbances at the 2019 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) at dawn last Sunday.
The young man, whose identity is currently unknown, is suspected to be one of Stonebwoy’s team members and also acts as his bodyguard.
In the video, the unidentified man is captured pulling out the weapon from what is believed to be a bag and passing it on to Stonebwoy in the midst of the confusion.
In addition to pursuing the unidentified man, the police have also asked Stonebwoy to produce the weapon which was seen in the video.
Also, some team members of Charles Nii Armah Mensah, who goes by the showbiz name Shatta Wale, who were seen heckling some members of Stonebwoy’s team on stage during the confusion are also being pursued by the police for arrest.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Commander of the Operations Unit of the Accra Regional Police Command, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Kwesi Ofori, said a team of policemen had been dispatched to search the homes of Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale.
At dawn last Sunday, there was an altercation between some members of the Shatta Movement (SM), the fan group aligned to Shatta Wale, and Stonebwoy’s fans, who are known as the BHIM Natives, in the auditorium of the AICC during the 20th edition of the VGMA.
The rowdy scenes happened after Stonebwoy had been called on stage to receive the award for Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year.
Although it is not clear what triggered the fracas, patrons at the event and some people who watched the show live on television alleged that they saw Shatta Wale walk towards the stage with some of his fans, while Stonebwoy was also seen pulling a gun before walking off stage.
Subsequently, the police invited Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy and the officials of Charterhouse, the organisers of the 2019 VGMA, to assist with investigations into the disturbance that rocked the event.
After taking statements from the invited parties, the police detained Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy.
The two had been granted police enquiry bail as of press time yesterday.
Sources close to the Accra Regional Police Command said the two suspects were yet to be charged.
Some fans of the two rival dancehall artistes who were seen lurking around the Regional Police Command urged the police not to keep their idols over 48 hours, in accordance with the law.
A press statement signed by the Public Relations officer of the Accra Regional Police Command, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mrs Effia Tenge, said the police, in no uncertain terms, condemned the disturbance that characterised the 2019 VGMA.
It said preliminary investigations conducted so far had established that the disturbance started after Stonebwoy had been declared Dancehall Artiste of the Year and had mounted the stage to receive his award.
At that moment, Shatta Wale moved to the stage uninvited, provoking a scuffle between their fans.
The statement also indicated that another person, identified as Nii Amoo, who was seen discharging pepper spray in the hall and was arrested was also in police custody.
It said the event organisers and all suspects arrested so far were cooperating with the police and hinted that anyone found culpable would be put before court in due time.
“The police will not condone acts of lawlessness,” it said, and assured the public and the fans of the two artistes that the case would be handled with the “needed attention it deserves”.