Mother of ‘pregnant’ Takoradi kidnapping victim arrested

The mother of the embattled 28-year-old woman who was found days after an alleged kidnapping in Sekondi-Takoradi has been arrested by the police.

Auntie Aggie, who is the mother of Josephine Panyin Mensah, was detained by Takoradi Police on Thursday, September 23.

It is not clear what Auntie Aggie might have done but her arrest came on the same day that the police confirmed her daughter is now a suspect in the alleged kidnapping.

Ms Mensah’s husband, Michael Simmons, was also questioned by police on Thursday and Friday morning. He is also being treated as a suspect.

Ms Mensah was thought to have been nine months pregnant prior to the kidnapping. However, after her kidnappers had been paid a ransom and the 28-year-old woman was released, there was no sign of her pregnancy or a baby.

This development prompted national concern. But the police, as well as the National Investigations Bureau (NIB), have claimed that Ms Mensah was never pregnant in the first place.

The police have released statements claiming tests done at the Takoradi Government Hospital as well as the Axim Government Hospital have both said Ms Mensah was not pregnant.

A third hospital, Effie Nkwanta Government Hospital, says it is yet to furnish the police with the result of its test.

On Thursday, police in Takoradi said they had three persons for further questioning on possible conspiracy charges in relation to the alleged kidnapping. It is not known if Ms Mensah’s mother was one of the three.

Preliminary investigation into the case                                                   

According to the police, following the reappearance of Ms Mensah on Tuesday, September 21, she was sent to the hospital for medical attention and examination.

The police have said that their findings noted that Ms Mensah “was never pregnant within the period under review, following thorough medical examination by the medical doctors at the Axim Government Hospital.”

Before the reports from the police, the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Otchere Darko Mensah, had said preliminary investigation and examination by doctors proved that Josephine Panyin Mensah 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 shows that she was never pregnant as has been reported. They suspect that this whole story was fabricated,” he added.

However, the husband of the victim, Michael Simmons, refuted the claims by the Regional Minister, insisting that his wife was pregnant prior to 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 rumours making rounds and I want to halt the interview to process my thoughts,” he Accra-based Citi FM.

Earlier in the week, Ms Mensah’s said they had doubts about the personnel at the hospital in Axim to do a professional job.

“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.

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