Henry Alibah, a 24- year-old student who allegedly posted his ex-girlfriend’s nude photographs on social media platform “Facebook,” has been sentenced to six months imprisonment by a circuit court in Accra.
Alibah is said to have taken that decision after his ex-girlfriend had informed him she wanted to quit their two-year relationship.
But Alibah’s counsel Mr Gad Cobbinah said he would appeal against the conviction at the High Court.
Handing down the sentence the trial judge, Ms Ellen Vivian Amoah, said it took into consideration the nature of the offence, how the offence was committed and the fact that the accused person was first offender.
She said the social media platform in recent times had been used to inflict emotional and psychological pain on people adding the most affected were women and girls.
According to the court posting of nude pictures which it also referred to as a cyber bully had also been used by people as a form of black mail, noting that, in the case before it, the intent of the convict was to use revenge pornography as a form of black mail.
Ms Amoah said posting of nude pictures by perpetrators was often trivialised by the society pointing out that the suffering and social degradation of victims were overlooked.
“With over 1.11 billion users of Facebook, such acts could easily pop through the click of the button of the mouse,” she said.
According to the court Ghana was not immuned to revenge pornography and it was time for the court to act now in order to curb the menace.
On January 22 Alibah was charged for causing emotional or psychological abuse and he pleaded guilty with explanation.
According to Alibah, his ex-girlfriend had threatened to reveal all secret things he had told her, adding his ex-girlfriend had accused him of going in for a prostitute after she had left him.
The court said his plea did not amount to a plea of guilty; hence, she entered a plea of not guilty for him.
However February 5, Alibah wept uncontrollably in court, pleaded guilty and asked for forgiveness.
Mr Cobinna told the court that his client had apologised to the complainant’s family and her school.
Defence counsel said the accused person had shown remorse and that his client was a first offender and had learnt a lesson after spending some time in prison.
Mr Cobbinah in his plea of mitigation said the law enjoined the court to allude to a punishment of a fine or conviction of signing a bond to be of good behaviour.
Prosecuting, Inspector Kofi Atimbire said the complainant, who is the victim, is a student and she and Alibah had been in a relation for two years.
However, about three months ago, the complainant called Alibah on phone and informed him that she wanted to quit the relationship. Alibah disagreed and pleaded with the complainant to continue the relationship.
A few weeks later Alibah called the complainant and asked her to rescind her decision else he was going to post her nude pictures on Facebook.
On November 25 last year, Alibah called the complainant and gave her 10 minutes to rescind her decision.
Inspector Atimbire said as the complainant did not heed to his demands Alibah uploaded her nude photographs on the complainant’s accounts on Facebook with the inscription: “Porn Star, pay and fuck. Call me on phone number…..”.
Prosecution said a few minutes later, the complainant’s friends went on Facebook and started calling her concerning the pictures.
To ascertain the truth, prosecution said the complainant herself went on Facebook and saw her naked pictures. She became offended and reported the matter to the Police and Alibah was arrested.
In Alibah’s cautioned statement he admitted the offence.