Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah
The Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, says he deposited GH¢3,000 to the Regional Police Command to pay for the ransom to the alleged kidnappers of the 28-year-old pregnant woman, Josephine Paynin Mensah in Takoradi.
According to the minister, he was frustrated with reports of kidnapping in the region, hence his decision to dole out the money to pay the ransom for the woman to be released.
Speaking on Accra-based radio station, Asempa Fm before the confession by the woman at centre of the kidnapping drama, that the whole plot was staged, the minister said he was desperate to free the woman from the grips of her abductors.
He explained that the family claimed that the alleged kidnappers had demanded for GH¢3,000 as ransom before they can free her.
He said he acted based on previous experience of the missing three Takoradi girls who were killed by their abductors after similar ransom had been demanded.
The regional minister said he was in constant touch with the police during their investigations.
Already police have said the Takoradi woman who supposedly went missing before she was found, was never pregnant as her family had claimed.
In a statement issued on Thursday, September 23, 2021, Police said a thorough medical examination by the medical doctors at the Axim Government Hospital revealed that the woman “was never pregnant within the period under review.”
Following this development, police are now treating the woman, who was said to have gone missing on September 16, as a suspect, in the case.
After being found at Axim on September 21, Josephine’s family said she had lost the baby during the period she was missing.
Police also said, “she may have conspired with other persons over her possible planned disappearance.”
Three people including her husband and mother have also been arrested for further questioning on possible conspiracy charges following this development.
According to police, Josephine said she attended the European Hospital in Takoradi for the antenatal reviews and assessment.
But Medical records at the facility suggest that the lady visited the hospital without pregnancy somewhere in October, 2020.
The police conclusion came after a similar assertion by the Western Regional Minister sparked controversy.
Mr Darko-Mensah, said his information was based on a preliminary security report he had from the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB).
But Josephine’s husband, Michael Simmons, insisted that his wife was carrying a pregnancy.
The police also raised concern with the incidence of staged kidnappings in the Western Region “where people conspire to create “self-kidnapping” incidents to make money out of ransoms.”
Similarly, a second check on her by doctors at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital also proved negative.
Shockingly, Josephine Mensah, according to police, confessed to have faked her pregnancy and staged the kidnapping claim after the second test conducted on her.
She told police during interrogation that neither was she pregnant nor ever being kidnapped.
Meanwhile, police are taking steps for the suspect to face full rigors of the law for conspiracy and deceit of public officer.
She has been discharged from the hospital and currently in the custody of the Takoradi Central Police station.