Renowned journalist and the morning show host of Takoradi-based Connect 97.1FM, Emmanuel Paa Kwesi Simpson has been granted a GHC50,000 bail with two sureties after a fake kidnapping report.
Paa Kwesi was remanded by the Takoradi Circuit Court A on Thursday, November 4, along with one Stephen Kumi, ‘boyfriend’ of the kidnapped victim for spreading fake news about an alleged kidnapping in Mpohor, in the Western Region of Ghana.
The accused were charged with the publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm.
The accused after being granted bail on Monday, November 8, is also to report to the police every Monday at 11 am pending the hearing of the case.
The Presiding Judge at the Sekondi High Court 1, Justice Dr Richmond Osei Hwere said though all offences are bailable, it is at the discretion of the court, describing the bail application as sympathetic which needs consideration.
He said per the submission by the counsel for the accused, it’s clear that he is not a ‘flight risk’ and the application has been upheld.
Paa Kwesi Simpson is standing trial with one other for publishing false news with intent to cause fear and alarm as well as false communication.
The story of the alleged kidnapping:
Stephen Kumi, the boyfriend of the alleged kidnap victim reported at a Takoradi-based radio station on Monday, November 1, that his girlfriend, Stephanie Kumiwaa has been kidnapped after receiving a call from the alleged abductors demanding GHS2,000 for her release.
According to him, Stephanie, who is a native of Mpohor, in the Mpohor District and a few Kilometres from Takoradi had promised to visit him on Sunday, October 17, only for him to receive a call from the alleged kidnappers through Stephanie’s phone demanding money for her release.
Stephen then made it known after days of going back and forth with the alleged kidnappers, a friend of Stephanie, whose name was given as Sandra, contributed GHS500, with the boyfriend also contributing GHS500, making GHS1000 which was then sent to the alleged kidnappers through Sandrah’s phone only for them to demand GHS2000 before her release.
He told the radio station that he had reported the case at the Mpohor Police Station.
According to Mr Ignatius Asaah Mensah, who is the District Chief Executive (DCE) of Mpohor, the kidnap has turned out to be a hoax and the so-called Stephanie is not even a native of Mpohor.
Speaking on Skyy Power 93.5FM on Wednesday, November 3, he explained that after a police investigation, it has been established that Stephen has been communicating with the alleged victim for a while now but have never met, neither have they seen each other before.
Also, Stephen did not receive the call directly from the kidnappers, but from the supposed friend of Stepahine, Sandra, who called him to inform him about the situation and what the kidnappers were demanding.
The Mpohor police debunked claims that Stephen had reported to them about any kidnapping incident.
According to Mr Ignatius, Stephen told the police that after making his report on the radio, Sandra informed him that Stephanie has been released by the alleged kidnappers.
However, both of them could not be traced in the Mpohor township after a police investigation and neither of their numbers could be reached.
Stephen is now in police custody assisting investigation as the police try to ascertain some facts.