Twenty-eight-year-old Josephine Panyin Mensah has pleaded not guilty after being arraigned before a Takoradi Harbour Circuit Court A on Monday, September 27.
She has, therefore, been granted a GH¢50,000 bail with two sureties.
After the resident of Columbia, a suburb of Takoradi, failed to return home from her routine dawn walk on Thursday, September 16, her husband, Michael Simmons, lodged a formal complaint with the police about the incident.
The police, therefore, issued an alert for her search.
Calls later to her mother for ransom heightened fears that she has been kidnapped. She was, however, found at Tulano, a suburb of Axim, on Tuesday, September 21 but without her ‘baby’.
It later turned out, precisely on Friday, September 24, that she had faked both the pregnancy and the kidnapping in order to “satisfy” her husband after suffering a miscarriage just four months into the pregnancy.
Before then, Western Region Minister Kwabena Otchere Darko Mensah had stirred controversy, openly disputing the pregnancy but confirming the kidnapping.
This provoked relatives and friends of Josephine Panyin Mensah, some of whom invoked curses on the regional minister as well as the police.
On Friday, she is reported to have confessed in front of her mother, the police and a neutral witness that she was without pregnancy after a series of tests at the Axim Government Hospital, Takoradi Hospital, where she last visited on Friday, May 21, and Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital proved negative.
But led by five lawyers, working pro bono, in her first appearance in court, Josephine pleaded not guilty to charges of putting fear and panic in the public and deceiving public officials.
She appeared calm with her tummy flattened as lawyer Fiifi Buckman led her plea.
Presiding judge His Honour Michael Cudjoe Ampadu, therefore, granted her bail at GH¢50,000 with two sureties and adjourned the case to Thursday, October 14.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh