Mr Kwabena Yeboah Asumea, counsel for Awal Suleman, the football-crazy fan who invaded the pitch over Ghana’s 2-0 victory against South Africa in Cape Coast, on Thursday told a Circuit Court in Cape Coast that his client was possessed by “gbeshie” some power for which no one had control.
The claim threw the whole Court packed with friends, relatives and into uncontrollable laughter.
However, considering the fact that he was a first time offender, his age, plea of guilty and the unimaginable rapture of ecstasy that engulfed the nation anytime the Black Stars won football matches, the presiding judge, Mrs. Dorinda Arthur Smith, handed him a minimum sentence to signal others of the red line drawn.
Suleman, a level 400 nursing student was convicted to a fine of GH¢2,400 and a two-year bond to be of good behaviour after he had pleaded to two counts of disrupting public peace and resisting lawful arrest, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy.
“I don’t know what came over me to do that”, he told the Court and vehemently denied claims of abusing drugs or being a habitual smoker but rather a calm person.
Prosecuting, Sergeant Yakubu Iddrisu said, on Thursday, November 14, during a football match between the Ghana Black Stars and the Bafana Bafana of South Africa the convict at about the 86th minute, suddenly jumped from the spectators’ stand where he was seated and entered the pitch.
The security personnel made frantic efforts to stop him from disrupting the match, but he resisted arrest and run from one side of the pitch to the other.
He said in the melee, one security personnel fell and this brought the match to a halt for two minutes before he was finally captured and taken to the police station.