Kidnapped Takoradi Woman: Suspect appears before court today
The 28-year-old woman in the middle of the alleged kidnap case in Takoradi will be arraigned before the Takoradi Circuit Court today.
Josephine Panyin Mensah, who was said to have been nursing a near-term pregnancy, was reported missing after going for a routine dawn walk on Thursday, September 16, 2021, in Takoradi.
Barely a week after, Josephine was found in Axim but without her pregnancy.
But according to the police, Josephine was neither pregnant nor Kidnapped.
“The police is heavily relying on medical experts who have examined her. Their findings are that Josephine Mensah was never pregnant within the period under review following thorough medical examination by the medical doctors at the Axim Government Hospital” part of a police statement read.
Josephine Panyin Mensah left home for a dawn walk on Thursday, September 16 but went missing for days in an alleged kidnapping case that caught the whole country’s attention.
She was later found at Axim in the Western Region without any sign of a supposed nine-month baby bump, which raised suspicion of false claims.
Negative pregnancy tests
According to the police, three separate tests revealed that the woman never carried a fetus in her womb in the last few weeks.
The law enforcement agency claims that tests at the Takoradi Government Hospital and the Axim Government Hospital were negative.
A medical examination at the Effia Nkwanta Government Hospital also showed no sign of a baby.
Before the police went public with the information gathered, Western Regional Minister Kwabena Otchere Darko Mensah had said preliminary investigation proved that Josephine was never pregnant.
“Information available to me from national security and doctors indicates that the’ missing but found woman’ was never pregnant, and there was no mark of assault too on her,” he said.
“The [National Investigations Bureau] sent me a report that she has been found and was receiving treatment at the Axim Government Hospital. However, their preliminary investigation and examination show that she was never pregnant, as has been reported. They suspect that this whole story was fabricated,” he explained.
However, the victim’s husband, Michael Simmons, refuted the regional minister’s claims, insisting that his wife was pregnant before her abduction.
“My wife was nine months pregnant, and so she moved in with her mum because her delivery date was due prior to the kidnapping incident. I am very worried about the rumors making rounds, and I want to halt the interview to process my thoughts,” he Accra-based Citi FM.
“We want to remove her from the Axim Hospital [because]we do not trust the doctor. The doctor who said Panyin was not pregnant…[that doctor]has not given birth,” an angry family member said.
According to the family of Ms. Mensah, the preliminary medical report that the woman was never pregnant was absurd.
Meanwhile, three suspects, including the mother of the lady, have been arrested.
However, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, an aide to the Western Regional Minister, said he had picked intelligence that Josephine was communicating with the mother via phone calls during the alleged period she was in captive.
Mr. Darko-Mensah said his boss had also released GHS 3000 to police as ransom money on September 20 but could not confirm if payment was made to the alleged kidnappers.
Josephine’s husband was also questioned by police on Thursday and Friday morning. He is also being treated as a suspect.
Police have raised concerns over a worrying trend in the region in the last few years, where people conspire with others to kidnap them.
“More worrying is the fact that for a number of years, the Regional Command has recorded several false kidnapping cases where people conspire to create ‘self-kidnapping’ incidents to make money out of ransoms,” the police said.
The Command noted that “a team with support from the National Headquarters has been put together to quell this emerging crime in the Western Region.”
Additionally, the police have given assurance that they have revised their strategies to ensure enhanced protection of people in the area and the rest of the country.