Lawyer, Gomdah and Associates, Bernard Agortey

A legal practitioner with Gomdah and Associates, Bernard Agortey has urged Ghanaians to desist from the culture of false publication of information on social media and other platforms which constitutes fear and panic.

Speaking in an interview on JoyNews, Mr. Agortey emphasized that section 208 of the criminal offenses Act indicts persons who publicize false information liable to cause fear and panic.

“Probably this should be a wake-up call to all of us that the moment a statement or a rumour or a piece of information leaves our phone to another person’s domain, it constitutes publication.

Now we need to cross-check these things because you would be held liable if it so turns out that what you have received is false,” he told Samson Lardi Anyenini.

Mr. Agortey’s comment follows the recent arrest of dancehall artiste Shatta Wale on Tuesday, October 19, after he circulated false information about a fake gun attack against him.

According to the legal practitioner, persons found guilty of this crime would only be exonerated if they are able to prove that they took reasonable measures to verify the information circulated.

“If you want to put up the defense to the offence and say that well I made the statement believing it to be true, then the question then is what steps did you take to verify whether these statements you are making are true or not,” he said on Sunday.

He added that the law is to avoid pandemonium and disturbance of public peace.

Responding to the question of how this crime could be avoided, the legal practitioner replied that information should be verified and cross-checked before publication.

“so you should read and verify…some people are just fond of sharing,” he noted.

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