A journalist with Connect FM in the Western Region, Paa Kwesi Simpson, has been granted bail by a High Court in Sekondi, to the tune of GH¢50,000 after he was arrested in connection with an alleged fake kidnapping incident at Mpohor in the Western Region. The bail conditions came with two sureties; one being a resident of Sekondi-Takoradi.
Mr. Simpson, who is the host of the morning show on Connect FM, was earlier remanded into police custody for two weeks together with one other person, Stephen Kumi. The two pleaded not guilty to charges of publication of false news with the intent of causing fear and alarm to the public contrary to the Public Order Act, and false publication of news through an electronic device.
In his plea for bail, counsel for Nhyiraba Paa Kwesi Simpson, Ebo Donkor, said Paa Kwesi Simpson must be seen as one who was only doing his work as a journalist. Meanwhile, Stephen Kumi, the alleged boyfriend of Stephanie Kumiwaa, who was also remanded for two weeks with the same charges is still on remand.
The report of the alleged case of kidnapping involving a 26-year-old woman, Stephanie Kumiwaa, received attention in sections of the media. But a statement from the police said checks at the Mpohor Police District Command indicated that no such case had been reported there.
The Police Service thus insisted that the kidnapping story was untrue.
During interrogation, Stephen Kumi told the police that he met Stephanie Kumiwaa on Facebook, and they started dating. On October 17, 2021, Stephanie called to inform him that she was visiting him but did not show up.
However, on October 19, 2021, he received a call from a friend of Stephanie that someone called on Stephanie’s phone number that she had been kidnapped, and the suspected kidnappers demanded a ransom of GH¢2,000.00.
Police escorted Stephen Kumi to Mpohor and all efforts to locate the residence, family relations of Stephanie and Sandra for confirmation of the alleged incident proved futile.
“The Western Regional Police Command wants to use this opportunity to remind the media that they should cross-check all information from the Command for confirmation before publications are done. The police will continue to collaborate with them to combat crime in the region”, the police statement added.