The reported arrest by the Homicide Unit of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service (CID-GPS) of Mr. Lawrence Nana Asiama Hanson ( alias Bulldog ), on the strength of several text-messages the latter is alleged to have sent the late Mr. Fennec Okyere, is justiciable enough to arraign the suspect before a legitimately constituted court of law. This, of course, is assuming that the contents of the alleged text-messages were explicit in their spelling out of the sender’s intention of taking the life of the deceased.
It is thus rather silly for Mr. Kwame Akuffo, a lawyer by both training and practice, as I understand it, to smugly assert that the officers of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service goofed in arresting Bulldog as a prime suspect in the multiple-gunshot murder of 31-year-old Mr. Okyere (See “Basis for Bulldog’s Arrest Inadmissible – Kwame Akuffo” Citifmonline / Ghanaweb.com 5/17/14).
In asmuch as freedom of expression is inalienably guaranteed every citizen in any constitutionally democratic culture such as Ghana’s, nevertheless, deliberately threatening the life of another citizen, for whatever reasons and/or grievances, is not protected by law. In fact, it is an actionable crime punishable by the law courts. It is therefore preposterous – to speak much less about the downright insane – for Mr. Akuffo to so cavalierly claim that the life-threatening messages allegedly sent Mr. Okyere by the Bulldog were mere “bragging” messages.
Unless, of course, the sender of such threatening messages could be clinically proven to have been insane during the period in which the alleged messages were despatched, there is absolutely no way for any professionally qualified legal light to either discount or summarily dismisss the very strong circumstantial evidence pointing to the Bulldog’s plausible culpability in the murder of Mr. Okyere.
It goes without saying that the allegedly life-threatening text-messages sent to Mr. Okyere by the Bulldog, at this juncture, are the DNA evidence that the police needs to conduct a full-scale investigation into the murder of Mr. Okyere. The Bulldog is, thus, not simply “a person of interest,” as Mr. Akuffo would have his audience believe, he is the only clear human evidence that the investigators have at this point. Unless, of course, it emerges that a person, or persons, other than Mr. Hanson, or the Bulldog, are also known to have issued life-threatening messages to the deceased.
Even then, the Bulldog could at best be classified as only one of several murder suspects, and at the worst one of several accomplices to the crime under investigation. At any rate, in the world of Gangsta Rap / Hiplife, such as the present one under both public discussion and criminal investigation, the Mafia-style execution of Mr. Okyere is all too common. Add to the latter, the fact that both the slain and the prime murder suspect were widely known to be rival managers of popular artists and musicians and CEOs of entertainment and recording companies, and the picture that emerges could not be more striking.
What is more, so inveterate or ingrained was the Bulldog’s animosity for the slain man that Mr. Lawrence Nana Asiama Hanson was reported to have also threatened the life of Mr. Okyere not once or twice, but several times on radio talk-shows. Could such malicious fanning of the flames of hatred by the Bulldog have influenced somebody or a group of people to gun down Mr. Okyere? This is an aspect of the case that the police are also apt to scrutinize.
All that needs to happen at this juncture for the Bulldog to be vigorously and successfully prosecuted in a court of law, is for police investigators to meticulously and forensically analyze the contents of both the Bulldog’s allegedly life-threatening text-messages sent to Mr. Okyere, as well as the suspects’ life-threatening pronouncements on radio talk-shows. Hopefully, police investigators would also be able to track down other text-messages or phone calls that the Bulldog might have put through to other parties in which the life and fate of Mr. Okyere might have been the subject of conversation. And, also, did the dead man at anytime confide to any person, or persons, the fact that his life must have been under threat?
By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.