Officers from the Accra Region Police Command have retrieved the pistol Stonebwoy brandished at the Vodafone Music Awards (VGMA) over the weekend.
It followed a search conducted at the home of the dancehall artiste after the commotion that marred the VGMAs.
The artiste pulled out the gun after his arch-rival, Shatta Wale, stormed the stage just after he had received the ‘Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year’ award and was about to make a speech.
Stonebwoy said he felt threatened by Wale and his fans’ presence on the stage, a reason he drew out the weapon.
The ‘Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year’ title is keenly contested for between the two rivals whose huge following believe either of them should win it at any given time.
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Wale, however, seemed to have had enough of Stonebwoy’s consistent win and looked visibly upset when he was announced the winner of the category on Saturday.
Many said he had gone on stage to attack Stonebwoy, but he told police his only intention was to congratulate a brother.
Photo: Stonebwoy brought the gun (circled) out when Shatta Wale mounted the stage with his fans
Both artistes have been sternly criticised by Ghanaians who until the unfortunate incident, seemed to be having a good time at the awards ceremony that was marking its 20th year.
Police picked and detained the two artistes on Sunday – Stonebwoy at the Dansoman Police Station and Wale at the Tesano Police Station.
Both have been granted bail.
Joy News’ Maxwell Agbagba, who had been following the story, was with the police throughout the day and reported on Top Story that, the police had refused to disclose whether or not the two dancehall artistes have been charged.
Among the host of institutions that have condemned Saturday’s incidence is the National Youth Authority.
The Authority’s Chief Executive Officer Emmanuel Sin-nyet Asigri is not only appalled by the development, but he also wants the two artistes to be dealt with ruthlessly by the police, to serve as a deterrent to other players in the entertainment front who might want to take the peace of the country for granted.
“In the midst of the prevailing security situation in the West Africa Sub-region relative to suspicious terror activities, we call on the youth of Ghana to stand up and defend the integrity of the country by conducting themselves in a disciplined, patriotic and nationalistic manner as well as resisting any negative influence from these two musicians or any other person or group.
“The youth must send one very clear, strong, unmistakable message that; acts or threats of violence of any kind have no place in the entertainment front of the country,” Mr Asigri said in a statement.
Stonebwoy (L) and Shatta Wale (R) are rivals
Private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu disagrees with people who want Stonebwoy punished for brandishing a firearm.
Citing Section 7 of the Arms and Ammunition Act 1972, many have called for the artiste to be punished for flouting Ghana’s law on the public display of arms.
The Act states “no person shall, except in accordance with the terms of a permit granted under this Decree or with the consent of the Inspector-General of Police, publicly display any arms or ammunition (including explosives) or discharge any firearm or other weapons in any public place.”
The police have yet to disclose whether or not Stonebwoy’s pistol was licensed.
But Mr Kpebu believes that if the firearm was licenced, then displaying it in public should not be unlawful.
“If a person has a gun and there is imminent danger and he has to use it, he must bring it out…under the law you have the right to use a firearm to ward off any violence even to the extent of shooting the other person if your life in danger.
“So naturally if the gun is hidden somewhere you must first bring it out…so I don’t see how long the brandishing was from the video as to say that that was brandishing. I think we should hasten slowly because from the little that I saw, I don’t think it was a display like what Section 7 is saying, no,” he added.