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General News of Friday, 24 September 2021


Detail on why W/R Minister said Takoradi woman was not pregnant

Josephine Simons, 28, went missing on September 16 Josephine Simons, 28, went missing on September 16

There have been claims and counterclaims about the pregnancy of the Takoradi woman found a few days after reportedly going missing.

Official complaints lodged by the husband of Josephine Panyin Mensah at the police station on Friday, September 17 indicated that she was heavily pregnant and had been kidnapped.

But after being found at Tolanu, a suburb of Axim, exactly five days later, the 28-year-old woman was without her supposed nine-month pregnancy.

This heightened fears about the turpitude of her alleged kidnappers in the Western Region.

However, Western Region Minister Kwabena Otchere Darko Mensah stirred controversy on Wednesday, September 22, when he said Josephine Panyin Mensah was not, after all, pregnant.

He told Kumasi-based Kessben FM that the pregnancy was fake as per preliminary investigations by the National Security.

This was contested by husband, Michael Simmons, who even shed tears about the “lies” by the regional minister.

Angered by their minister’s disclosure, residents of Columbia, a suburb of Takoradi, invoked curses on him as well as the police for saying what they did not know.

According to them, they had seen Josephine Panyin Mensah, who has now been declared a suspect by the police, with a big baby bump.

But speaking in an interview with Media General's Eric Mawuena Egbeta on Thursday, September 23, the aide to the Western Region Minister, Justice Acquah, said his boss had to come out to allay the fears that had gripped the people of Takoradi, and, by extension, the Western Region over the issue.

“We have not done our checks to know whether the monies were paid or not but then [Mr Otchere Darko Mensah] came out to give confidence and hope to the people of Takoradi and its environs that the place is secure,” Mr Acquah said about the payment of a GH¢3,000 ransom and the pregnancy saga.

“[And] they should not live in fear and panic and that even, after all, the speculations surrounding the whole brouhaha has been clarified by the medical doctors that the woman in question was not pregnant.”

Second and third tests at the Takoradi Hospital and Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital respectively have proved negative.

Therefore, the police have stood by the preliminary outcome of their investigations, claiming the missing but found woman was without pregnancy.

Her husband and her mother were picked up by the police but have since been released on bail.

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