Just like most industry persons, I was hit with shock far out here in Southern France-Cannes when I had a call from Ghana that, Bulldog (real name Lawrence Nana Asiama Hanson) had been arrested by the Homicide Unit of the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service in connection to Fennec Okyere’s untimely death…
Being a Ghanaian with extensive legal knowledge, I know how the Ghanaian police work—mostly pushing far than they are legally permitted to do. In fact, I’ve just heard that Bulldog is being taken to court on Monday.
Criminal Law in itself is a complex aspect of law and I do not want to dig into it very much with this article. In situations like this, Murder, Voluntary Manslaughter, Involuntary Manslaughter, Felony Murderand ‘Conspiracy to Commit Murder’ are some of the areas the police may be looking at in relation to Bulldog’s arrest. But the question is, do they have enough evidence to pin down the needed mens rea (intent) and actus reus (actual action) on Bulldog?
I will not shocked if Bulldog is released without charge—what is also highly probable is that, he may be charged but the police may not be able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that he actually killed Fennec or conspired to have him killed.
Let’s leave behind the above and look at what I want us to learn from Bulldog’s arrest. I have never met Bulldog before but I’ve spoken to him over the phone, listened to him and watched him speak on several platforms—sometimes, throwing unnecessary threats all over. He is not alone in this, most Ghanaians do the same and to be frank, most people who throw out threats do not have the intent to commission the crime. At this stage, we should not forget that threat alone can constitute a crime…
On the night of 26 November, 2010, I received a call from Bulldog who introduced himself as Lawrence (the manager of Confidence Haugen) following an article we published on GhanaCelebrities.Com.
Bulldog had called me all the way from Ghana to threaten me not to write anything unfavourable about Confidence Haugen the brand and that he was instructed by Confidence Haugen to do so. (I wrote an article on this issue, CLICK HERE to read it)
Bulldog was extensively aggressive on the phone but that did not actually worry me. I just could not understand why he was making all those threats since I had the right to express my honest opinion on a public figure, who he claimed at the time to be representing.
The distance and the way Bulldog spoke on the phone was an indication that, he just wanted to please his client-Confidence Haugen and in fact, carrying out his threat was an impossibility, so even though I wanted to report it to the police, I just took it as one of those Ghanaian threats.
That was my first encounter with Bulldog and since then, I’ve heard him make unnecessary threats, mostly in relation to the work he does for his clients—and in an attempt to safeguard the interest of these clients.
His threats are everywhere but if you ask me, I will say, he just sends out threats like most Ghanaians do, hoping to ‘intimidate’ people into doing what he wants. But I don’t think he ever intends to follow up on these threats.
However, it is just the mere sending out of threats that has landed him in jail as a ‘prime suspect’. Even if he did not intend to follow up on his threats to Fennec Okyere just like the many threats he sends out, what has that fetched him?
He is now being considered as a prime suspect—and before you know, things can get worse. He may be innocent but at this stage, one of the many threats he sends out has actually brought the police surveillance to this backyard—and I am sure he regrets sending out those threats.
What we should learn from Bulldog’s case is simple; threats are not the way to handle any situation, no matter how bad the situation seems. It is time we end the era of threats. It does not matter if you do not even intend to commission the threat because by threating people, you are writing your name in the minds of people as a potential criminal if something should go wrong.
Whatever it is, I pray Fennec Okyere’s killer(s) are brought to justice but it must be done in accordance with the law—not just mount a murder charge on any person who does not meet the required elements of murder…
I hope we can all learn from Bulldog’s case—and more importantly, I hope Bulldog himself has learnt something, the hard way.