Takoradi kidnapped woman was never pregnant – Western Regional Minister
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, has said preliminary investigations and examination by doctors in charge of the kidnapped but found 28-year-old woman in the Western Region shows she was not 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,” Darko-Mensa said on the morning of Wednesday, September 22.
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.
According to her brother-in-law, Alex Essien, Josephine was found in a state of shock and was unable to speak.
“All she could do was to motion for a piece of paper and pen on which she scribbled her pastor’s contact number,” he said.
But, according to the Western Regional Minister, the National Investigations Bureau (NIB) indicates that the story of kidnapping is fake.
“Yesterday, the [NIB] 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 said.
He insists the dirtied appearance the woman sported when she was found might have been as a result of spending days in her hideout.
“I have asked the Police to investigate Josephine and her husband since I suspect the whole episode could be a hoax”, the minister said in an earlier interview with Kofi TV.
But, the husband of Josephine, Michael Simmons, insists his wife was pregnant prior to her abduction.
“My wife was nine months pregnant and 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 told Accra-based Citi FM.
According to him, records at the hospital shows that his wife has been pregnant for nine months.
Josephine Panyin Mensah, who was nursing a near-term pregnancy, was reported missing after going for a routine dawn walk on Thursday, September 16, 2021, in Takoradi.
Later, a group of the suspected abductors requested ransom before releasing her, Emmanuel Ackon, brother-in-law to Josephine told the media.
“We are appealing to the public to help us. She is fair coloured and not too tall… The people that allegedly kidnapped her called her mother around 1:00 pm to tell her that she is with them, so they were asking for a ransom. Since then, we’ve not heard from them again,” Emmanuel appealed to the public.
Missing Takoradi girls
Four girls went missing at Takoradi between July and December 2018.
After efforts by the families to locate them, it was discovered that they had been kidnapped.
The victims were Priscilla Blessing Bentum, 21, at Kansaworodo; Ruth Love Quayson, 18; Priscilla Mantebea, 15; and Ruth Abeka, 18.
The accused persons, who demanded ransoms from the victims’ parents, were later arrested in 2019 to assist the police in investigations.
There were various twists and turns to the matter, which dragged on for over a year.
This triggered a national debate with many public protests staged, especially in Takoradi, to demand the return of girls and compel the government to act.
After painstaking investigations, the skeletal remains of the girls were found on 2 August 2019.
DNA samples taken from the families marched that of the girls according to police.
Two Nigerians who had been arrested in connection with the matter were charged with conspiracy and murder.
A seven-member jury found Sam Udeotuk Wills and John Orji guilty on all the eight counts of the charge of conspiracy to murder and murder.
The Sekondi High Court presided over by Justice Richard Agyei Frimpong sentenced the two to death.
Canadian Girls Kidnap
Four accused persons – Sampson Agharlor, Elvis Ojiyorwe, Jeff Omarsar, and Yusif Yakubu – are standing trial for conspiracy charges to kidnap and kidnap.
They have all pleaded not guilty.
The four are being held for their various roles in kidnapping Miss Lauren Patricia Catherine Tiley and Miss Bailey Jordan Chilley.
The two University of New Brunswick students were abducted on June 4, 2019, while volunteering for a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) in Kumasi.
They were rescued that same month, which led to the arrest of the suspects.
According to police, the two were abducted at the Kumasi Royal Golf Club at about 8:25 pm.
Medical reports confirmed the girls were returned physically unhurt.