The Ghana Police Service has denied it pressured Josephine Panyin Mensah, the woman at the center of the bizarre kidnapping at Takoradi, to recant her claim that she had indeed been abducted and had given birth during the trauma.
Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, ACP Kwesi Ofori, on Saturday reiterated that the woman had made a clean breast of the issue as a matter of remorse.
“There was no molestation, no intimidation, no one coerced her to speak the truth. It was a voluntary statement to the Police,” ACP had told Accra-based Citi TV.
He said Josephine made these confessions in the presence of “an independent witness, her mother and husband.”
The woman has been in the news since September 6th when it was reported that she had supposedly been kidnapped.
Per the report, Josephine Panyin Mensah had been nine months pregnant when her abductors took her.
Later she would surface at Axim without her baby bump, causing suspicion that she had never been pregnant and that the kidnapping had been staged.
Late last week, after the Police had arrested her husband and her mother under suspicion that they were accomplices in a staged kidnapping, she is said to have finally confessed that both the pregnancy and the kidnapping were faked – by herself.
“The suspect, Josephine Panyin Mensah, 28, has confessed to the Police during further investigations and stated that neither was she pregnant nor ever being kidnapped. The public will be updated with further details,” the police had said in a statement.
According to ACP Kwesi Fori, she said she went through the trouble to please her husband. “From her account, she said she did it alone just to satisfy her husband. It was a pure family issue that she wanted to portray that she was pregnant. She did all that for the admiration of her husband.”
By late Saturday, September 25th, further detail had emerged.
The woman had connived with her mother, Agnes Essel, to fake the pregnancy to fool her husband, Michael Simmons.
Josephine had reportedly gotten pregnant for real, but had miscarried after four months and was afraid to tell her husband.
This was because Simmons had become more loving after Josephine got pregnant and the loss made her fear Simmons would stop being ultra-loving if he knew that the bundle of joy was gone.
And so a quick-thinking Josephine teamed up with her mom to stuff silicon in her dress to fake a baby bump. According to a reported self-confession, she had been so dogged with the plan that even during sex with the husband she never took off the dress that was holding the silicon.
At a time that the crime wave in Ghana is dominated by ritual killings, the impression that her baby had been snatched by killers for ritual money would have synced with the mainstream narrative.
A remorseful Josephine has said she never meant for her faked kidnapping to hit national headlines. She had only intended to convince her husband.
Except that the distraught woman craving what appears to be the rare affection of her husband shot herself in the foot by escalating the situation into a ransom demand for her release by her supposed kidnappers.
She and her conspirators initially demanded a paltry Ghc500 as ransom. This demand spiked suspicion in Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko, who is said to have eventually forked out Ghc3, 000 as ransom but the Ghc500 earlier demanded had raised enough suspicion.
The Police would press on this lead, asking for an expert medical opinion and eventually arresting Josephine’s mother and her husband as suspects in the conspiracy.