The Takoradi Habour Circuit Court A in the Western Region has granted bail to Josephine Panyin Mensah, the woman at the centre of the alleged fake kidnapping and pregnancy case.
She was admitted to a bail of GHS 50,000 with two sureties.
The court was presided over by His Honour Michael Cudjoe Ampadu.
On her first appearance in court on Monday, she pleaded not guilty to the charges of deceiving a public officer and publication of false news with intent to cause fear and panic.
The case has been adjourned to be reconvened on October 14, 2021.
This is despite claims by the police that she confessed to faking her kidnapping and pregnancy.
Citi News’ Akwesi Agyei Annim reported that the woman, who was brought to the Takoradi Habour Circuit Court A by police around 6:00 am on Monday, appeared calm.
The Police prosecuting team led by Superintendent Emmanuel Basintale told the court that the suspect admitted to the offenses.
“She was at the Takoradi hospital four times with pelvic inflammatory disorder and not pregnancy… She however confessed to the police that she faked her pregnancy in the presence of the mother and the medical personnel before the Police came in…. I want to correct the wrong impression created that she was arrested and kept for seven days. She was only released to the police on Friday, hence she has been in the custody for just two days. The lady was also informed of her right to bring a counsel of her choice while in police custody, hence the police didn’t breach her constitutional rights. Her confession was actually made at the Effia-Nkwanta Hospital in the presence of the mother and the doctor before the police were called in, so she was not forced to confess”, he said.
Her lead defence Counsel, Philip Fiifi Buckman prayed to the court that she had already served 48 hours in the hands of the police and since the charges are all misdemeanours and bailable, she must be granted bail.
“She has been in the hands of the police for one good week and very weak. Since the Police are saying they have completed their investigations hence they are in court, we plead for her to be given bail. She has several persons ready to stand surety and provide evidence to defend her. Everything we have heard today can be contested very well in court, and the constitution also gives the police 48 hours to keep her. If you look at the charges preferred against the accused they are all misdemeanour which is bailable, therefore we plead the court to exercise its discretion to give her bail”, he said.
His Honour, Michael Cudjoe Ampadu, before granting Josephine Panyin Mensah justified the defense counsel’s argument.
“As submitted by the counsel, the offenses are all bailable, and it is true that the accused remains innocent until proven guilty. In the mind of this court, if it was not because this case is connected to kidnapping which is why it has created a public outcry, it would have been a simple issue between a husband and a wife. However, these charges are bailable, so the court grants bail to the accused in the sum of GHS 50,000 with two sureties and one to be justified”, he said.
Present at the court were the mother of the accused, Agnes Essel, the husband, Michael Simmons, and other family members. An elated brother-In-law, Emmanuel Arkoh, who was surprised to hear the denial of the charges by Josephine Panyin Mensah said, although they are hopeful, they leave everything to the court and God.
The controversial story has for the past week dominated media discussions. News about her alleged disappearance went viral about two weeks ago.
When she was found in Axim, several miles away from Takoradi where she supposedly disappeared, she was mute, unkempt, and without any sign of the said pregnancy.
Claims that she delivered on the same day she was allegedly kidnapped with the baby taken by her supposed kidnappers have been put under scrutiny with the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah stating on Wednesday, September 22 that the said pregnancy was fake.
The police administration in a subsequent statement confirmed the minister’s claim.
Further, tests conducted on her at a different facility also confirmed that she was never pregnant, according to the police.
The police have interrogated a number of people in connection with her case.