The Police have cautioned religious groups and leaders to be measured in their prophetic utterances ahead of the December 31 watchnight services.
In a statement, the Service urged religious leaders to ensure their prophecies do not injure the right of others and the public interest.
“We, therefore, wish to caution all Ghanaians, especially religious groups and leaders, to be measured in their utterances, especially how they communicate prophecies, which may injure the right of others and the public interest,” a statement dated December 27 said.
They explained that in Ghana’s law, it is a crime to deliberately send communication that is either false or misleading and likely to prejudice or disturb public peace where that person has no evidence to prove otherwise.
“We want to caution that under Ghanaian law, it is a crime for a person to publish or reproduce a statement, rumour or report which is likely to cause fear and alarm to the public or to disturb the public peace, where that person has no evidence to prove the statement, rumour or report is true.
“It is also a crime for a person, by means of electronic communications service, to knowingly send a communication that is false or misleading and likely to prejudice the efficiency of life-saving or to endanger the safety of any person,” the statement added.
Persons found guilty under these laws could be liable to a term of imprisonment of up to five years.
The Police noted that over the years, prophecies of harm, danger and death by some religious leaders have generated tension and panic among the Ghanaian society, thus the reason to caution against prophecies of such nature this year.
Meanwhile, the Police said it is committed to ensuring maximum security during December 31, night service.
The Service urged Ghanaians to be mindful of the welfare of each other and act within the law.
“The Police wish to assure all religious organisations that we are committed to ensuring the maximum security during the 31stDecembernight, end of year services and beyond. There should be no apprehensions therefore about undertaking the various activities,” the statement noted.
The Police added that their action is not against prophecies as they acknowledge that Ghanaians are religious people who believe in the centrality of God in their lives.
Source: Raphael Ghartey