Josephine Panyin Mensah
The case involving Josephine Panyin Mensah, the supposed heavily pregnant woman who claimed she was kidnapped in Takoradi and her fresh baby taken away, has been adjourned again to December 14, 2021.
At the last sitting, the Takoradi Circuit Court ‘A’ in the Western Region adjourned the case to yesterday, November 11, 2021, to allow the prosecution to provide all the documents they intend to rely on in the case after which there will be a case management conference (CMC) before the actual trial begins.
However, the court could not sit yesterday because, according to the lead counsel for the accused, Fiifi Buckman, there is a conference somewhere the judge, His Honour Michael Ampadu might be attending.
He said the prosecution has provided him with their documents, adding “So disclosure has been done by the prosecution. So we were coming for the CMC but unfortunately, the court could not sit.”
“I hear there is a conference or something somewhere so we are coming back on December 14, 2021,” he added.
The 27-year-old woman first appeared before the Takoradi Circuit Court ‘A’ on Monday, September 28, 2021, charged with publication of false news and deceit of a public officer, and pleaded not guilty to two charges.
The court later granted her bail in the sum of GH¢50,000 with two sureties, one to be justified.
However, the accused person could not meet the bail conditions as set by the court and had to remain in police custody until she was able to meet the bail conditions after about one week.
Facts of Case
The prosecutor, Supt. Emmanuel Basintele had told the court that on September 16, 2021, at about 4.05 pm, Michael Simons of Columbia, Takoradi, who is the husband of the accused, informed the police that his wife who was said to be 10 months pregnant and lived with her mother, Agnes Essel aka Auntie Aggie, left home for a health walk but did not return.
The prosecutor said the mother of the accused also added that same day at about 3:30pm, an unknown caller called her on MTN number 0599601438 and she only heard the voice of accused crying that she had been kidnapped and taken to an unknown location.
In the course of investigations, the police discovered that the call emanated from Agona Nkwanta in the Ahanta West District and was registered in the accused person’s own name, and the police tracked the number there but did not find the accused.
On September 21, 2021, at about 11:15am, while a massive search was underway, police had intel which indicated that accused had been found at Axim, the Nzema East Municipality of the region.
The police in Axim was informed and the accused was conveyed from the premises of the Jehovah Witnesses Kingdom Hall to Axim Government Hospital for treatment.
The prosecutor told the court that the accused later narrated that she was pregnant and kidnapped during a walk on September 16, 2021, at about 4:30am, by unknown people who covered her mouth with cloth, making her unconscious.
She added that she met about 12 other unknown women kidnapped by her captors and they were all killed except her, and that she gave birth to a baby girl and afterwards falling unconscious for the second time, and had no idea how she got to Axim.
The prosecutor said doctors who conducted examination on the accused at the Axim Government Hospital told police that they did not notice any postpartum sign.
The doctors stated that the accused had not given birth within six days that she went missing and resurfaced.
The accused admitted in her caution statement to the police that she bought the pregnancy prosthetics, popularly called silicon belly, which she was wearing to make her look pregnant, for GH¢30.
According to Josephine Mensah, she bought the silicon belly at the Takoradi Market Circle for GH¢30 but threw it into the bush while on the Takoradi-Agona Nkwanta trunk road when she was faking her kidnapping.
The accused person has also admitted that the MTN number 0599601438 through which the supposed kidnappers spoke to the mother, Agnes Essel aka Aunty Aggie, was her own old SIM card which she later discarded.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi