It has emerged the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology paid female singer Mzbel GHc 50, 000 for the attack on her by some students of the school during a 2005 performance. The singer has for the first time in 10 years revealed she received the sum as compensation, and also to prevent her from pressing for damages at the law courts. “It was GHc 50, 000,” she told Stacy Amoateng on last weekend’s edition of the Restoration With Stacy personality talk show.
Real name Belinda Nana Akua Amoah, she was molested by a group of students of the university who had called for her to continue performing when she was done with her booked, stage time.
“When my crew and I were leaving the auditorium, some of the students came up to me, saying they wanted to take pictures with me. While we were at it, others came from nowhere to shake my hands,” she narrated (in January 2006) the scenes that led to her October, 2005 ordeal.
“Unfortunately, that exit was like a big window through which I had to jump. Just when I was about to jump, someone grabbed hold of my legs and within a twinkle of an eye, there were a whole mob of students pulling my legs.”
Her trousers and underpant were pulled down in the process. The mob took advantage of her nakedness and started fingering her
“They revealed everything by pulling my pants and trousers down to my knee”.
She subsequently sued the university, claiming damages to the tune of ¢600 million (now GHc 60, 000).
Filed at an Accra High Court on Wednesday January 18, 2006, and led by her then manager and now ex convict Isaac Abeidu Aidoo, a.k.a ‘Goodies’, it had KNUST as first defendant: The Vice Chancellor as second defendants, and the college of Art as third defendant.
The fourth, fifth and sixth defendants were Alex Dapaah, Aaron Edusah Poku and Theodore Djokoto all students of the university at the time.
In a statement of claim, the plaintiffs said “that by a performance contract entered with them and an invitation by the 2nd defendant to perform and to enable them celebrate their Art Society week to be climaxed by a live musical performance, the 1st plaintiff, Mzbel amongst other musical artistes and performers were scheduled and invited to perform on the night of October 1, 2005 at the KNUST campus, Kumasi.
“The plaintiffs shall contend that the arrangement, safety and security of the venue and that of artistes before during and after the live performance, devolved absolutely on the 1st and 2nd defendants. By this invitation and performance contract executed, any failures or omissions on their part shall result in a vicarious liability to them.”
“The plaintiffs say that while the 1st plaintiff was performing live on stage reserved for the artistes, without any invitation, provocation and permission, a number of male students invaded the stage and in their frenzy without any provocation violently assaulted the 1st plaintiff which assault can best be described as sexual by all imagination.”
The statement of claim further said Dapaah, Poku and Djokoto inserted their fingers into her private part, and also indiscriminately fondled her breast. She sustained bruises on her face and body, causing her excruciating pains, the statement added.
The claim also called for sanctions to be imposed on Alex Dapaah, Aaron Edusah Poku and Theodore Djokoto, and payment of fees to Mzbel and Goodies Productions’ lawyers.
The incident was widely condemned by the Musicians Union of Ghana, and a number of women groups including Abantu for Development, and FIDA Ghana.
She subsequently vowed never to return to the school to perform.
A report by a student fact-finding committee later sought to punch holes in her claims. Among other things they suggested Mzbel and her three dancers made lewd gestures that may have inspired the students’ bad behaviour.
She shot down the suggestions.
“It had nothing to do with the way I was dressed. Even on that night when I performed, I was not wearing any extraordinary clothes. I was in a pair of trousers and a jacket.”