Dancehall artistes Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale have been stripped of all the awards they won at the 20th edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA).
They have also been banned indefinitely by the organisers, Charterhouse.
The decision was announced at a press conference at the Alisa Hotel in Accra by Charterhouse and the Board of the awards.
According to the organisers, the two artistes breached the code of conduct of the scheme.
Mark Okraku Mantey, a member of the Board, explained that the Board has the right to dismiss or disqualify any nominee who misbehaves or brings the Awards into disrepute.
The decision means that Shatta Wale is no longer the winner of the ‘Highlife Song of the Year’ for ‘My Level’ and ‘Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year’ for ‘Gringo’.
It also means that Stonebwoy has also lost the ‘Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year’ and ‘Best Collaboration of the Year’ awards he won on the night.
Shatta Wale and Stonebwoy were arrested by the police on Sunday over a brawl that erupted between their camps at the 20th anniversary of the VGMA.
Pandemonium broke out shortly after Stonebwoy was announced the winner of ‘Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year’ when Shatta Wale and his team were seen going towards the stage, their intentions unclear.
Shatta Wale, born Charles Nii Armah Mensah, later claimed that he was going on stage to congratulate Stonebwoy. The two artistes were later released on Monday.
Theresa Ayoade, CEO of Charterhouse, explained that “indefinite ban means pending good behaviour” and it is possible for them to be accepted back to scheme depending on their behaviour in future.
Asked if the organisers will reveal the winners of the ‘Artiste of the Year’ and ‘Most Popular Song of the Year’, which they failed to announce at the awards, the Charterhouse CEO said, “we cannot announce them because the results have been nullified,” stressing it involves the two artistes.
The organisers also revealed that late singer, Ebony Reigns, who won the ‘Artiste of the Year’ at last year’s Awards, is still ‘Artiste of the Year’ since there is no winner this year.
Commenting on the happenings on the night of the Awards at the new Dome at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) Theresa Ayoade said organisers were embarrassed by the brawl between the two artistes.
“Everything was going smoothly till the altercation” and that “we felt the action,” they took “was selfish” and that they forgot the world was watching Ghana.
The Charterhouse CEO stressed that Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale will live to regret forever what they did on the night and thank “God there were no serious casualties” on the night.
Before the ban was announced, Shatta Wale posted on social media that he was withdrawing from the Awards scheme.
“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 said.
This will not be the first time Shatta Wale is being banned from the Awards.
After being sued ¢10 million for releasing a series of videos attacking Iyiola Ayoade, owner of Charterhouse in 2014, it emerged in 2016, after months of speculations, that the dancehall act had been banned by the organisers.
Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale, when they appeared in court, pleaded not guilty to Offensive Conduct to Breaches of the Peace following the scuffle at the Awards.
Stonebwoy, born Livingstone Etse Satekla, also pleaded not guilty to an additional charge of Display of a Weapon in a Public Place without permission.
The charges were read to them during their appearance at the Agyebeng Court, Wednesday.
The dancehall artistes, who have not seen eye-to-eye for years now, appeared in court with some family members and scores of supporters.
They both looked cheerful and responded to chants from their supporters as they walked out of the courtroom.
After the hearing, they were granted bail of ¢50,000 each with one surety and cautioned to be of good behaviour until the determination of the case.
They will re-appear in court on June 20.