Ghana

OSP revokes freezing order of Cecilia Dapaah’s bank accounts

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has revoked the freezing order of five bank accounts of the former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Dapaah.

However, other bank accounts and financial assets of Ms Dapaah are still under the freezing order, according to a statement issued and signed by the Special Prosecu­tor (SP), Kissi Agyabeng, in Accra, yesterday.

The SP took measures, including issuing a freezing order in respect of the bank accounts and other financial assets of Ms Dapaah, to facilitate investigation. Earlier, the OSP had charged the former minister for failing to declare her income and property.

According to the statement of offence filed at the High Court on Friday, October 6, 2023, the OSP said Ms Dapaah failed to respond to a notice to declare her property served on Monday, July 24, 2023, within 30 days as stated in the OSP Act. The OSP says this is a contravention of the OSP Act and she must be punished for it.

The Office on Thursday, October 12, 2023, also petitioned the Chief Justice (CJ) to remove Justice Edward Twum from Cecilia Dapaah’s case.

In a Facebook post, the OSP explained that the judge appears to be prejudiced against the institu­tion. The OSP, therefore, request­ed Gertrude Torkornoo, the CJ, to have Justice Twum recuse himself or remove him from all its cases pending before him.

In July 2023, the Chronicle Newspaper reported that two domestic helps of the former minister had been dragged to court for allegedly stealing $1 million, €300,000, several millions of cedis and personal effects of the former minister and her husband valued at thousands of Ghana cedis and dollars.

The two, 18-year-old Patience Botwe and 30-year-old Sarah Agyei, allegedly stole the money and personal effects of the couple, between July and October 2022.

Both have been charged with one count of conspiracy to com­mit a crime and five counts of stealing US$1 million, €300,000, and millions of Ghana cedis.

The former minister resigned from her position after a public uproar.

The OSP commenced an in­vestigation in July 2023 in respect of suspected corruption and cor­ruption-related offences regarding large amounts of money and other valuable items involving Ms Dapaah. She was arrested by the OSP and was granted bail.

When OSP officials searched the home of Ms Dapaah, they found $590,000 and GH¢2.730,000 in cash at her apartment.

The OSP seized these substan­tial cash sums as crucial evidence to support the ongoing investi­gation and also froze seven bank accounts, belonging to the former minister. — Joyonline

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