Ghanaian dancehall artistes Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale have been banned indefinitely from participating in all aspects of the country’s foremost music award scheme, the Vodafone Music Awards (VGMAs).
Per the decision, they have lost their legibility for VGMAs nominations, selections and performances.
The decision was taken Thursday by the board of the award scheme following a brawl between the two feuding musicians at the 20th anniversary of the VGMAs in Accra last Saturday, which saw one of them pulling out a handgun.
Board member Nat Brew Amandzeba explained at a news conference that the action of the Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale on the night “brought the name of the event into disrepute”.
He stated the decision was taken after “careful deliberations” and “extensive consultation” with stakeholders in the music industry.
But in a rather interesting turn, Shatta Wale posted on social media few minutes to the announcement that he has pulled out of the award scheme going forward.
“Upon sober reflections of events in recent times and having made broader consultations, I wish to announce that I will not be part of the Ghana Music Awards scheme going forward. God bless!”, he posted on Facebook.
The rivalry between the two artistes hit the roof in the wee hours of Sunday after Shatta Wale and his multitude of fans attempted to mount the stage uninvited to join Stonebwoy who was receiving the 2019 Reggae and Dancehall Artiste of the Year award.
Stonebwoy who felt threatened by the manner his bitter rival approached the stage pulled out a handgun handed him on stage by one of his entourage, a scene that sparked a scuffle between the two artistes and their followers.
The awards event was temporarily halted and the topmost two awards for the event, Most Popular Song of the Year and Artiste of the Year, were deferred due to the melee which has widely been condemned by stakeholders in the industry.
Both Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale were invited by the police for questioning on Sunday and have since been charged and put before court.
Charged and bailed
A magistrate in Accra on Wednesday set their bail condition at a total of 100,000 cedis after prosecutors brought charges against them over their near-bloody scuffle at Saturday’s awards night.
Their lawyers had argued for a self-recognisance bail on grounds that the two accused persons were known figures in the music industry and would avail themselves for the trial.
Though prosecutors did not oppose the request for bail, they asked the court to let the two artistes to sign a bond to be of good behaviour.
But the magistrate, Isaac Addo, rejected the request of self-recognisance bail, and set their bail condition at 50,000 cedis each with one surety.
Both stars are charged with issuing threats and using abusive words with the intent to disturb public peace, with Stonebwoy facing count of displaying weapon in public place without permission. The gun is an Australian gun INFK 158 with butt number AA792002017.
They have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The magistrate asked the accused persons to be of good behaviour in the course of the trial and warned them against any acts that could impede the case.
They are expected in court again on June 20.
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