Journalist remanded for two-weeks over fake kidnapping incident

A court in Takoradi has remanded two persons, including a journalist over the false reportage of a recent hoax kidnapping incident in Mpohor in the Western Region of Ghana.

Journalist, one other remanded for 2-weeks over ‘fake’ kidnapping incident

The two persons were charged by the police with the 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 contrary to the Electronic Communications Act, 775 of 2008.

The duo are to spend two weeks in police custody and reappear in court on November 16.

The two are Stephen Kumi, boyfriend of the alleged abducted woman, and Nhyiraba Paa Kwesi Simpson, a broadcast journalist with Connect 97.1 FM.

Meanwhile, the two pleaded not guilty to the charges in court today (Thursday, November 4).

The court however refused to grant them bail despite a plea from their lawyer.

The report of the alleged case of kidnapping involving a 26-year-old woman, Stephanie Kumiwaa, received attention in sections of the media.

According to the police, checks at the Mpohor Police District Command showed that no such case had been reported there. During interrogation, Stephen Kumi told the police that he met the victim on Facebook, and they started dating.

On October 17 this year, Stephanie called to inform him that she was visiting him but did not show up. However, on October 19, 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 two thousand Cedis.

Police escorted suspect Stephen Kumi to Mpohor and all efforts to locate the residence, family relations of Stephanie for confirmation of the reported incident proved futile.

But lawyer for the two gentlemen, Calister Tetteh, in his plea for bail, said Stephen Kumi must be rather treated as a victim in the case while Nhyiraba Paa Kwesi Simpson must be seen as one who was only doing his work as a journalist.

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