In a new application to a High Court in Accra, the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) requested confirmation of the seizure of certain funds it had earlier taken from the home of censured former sanitation minister Cecilia Dapaah and an order to freeze several bank accounts.
In an 8-page court filing, which has been quoted by several local media outlets, the OSP outlines a number of findings it has made in relation to the confiscated monies, which total around US$590,000 and more than GH2.8 million in cash.
The OSP shed light on a number of enterprises the former minister is said to have been involved with, firms it claimed she exploited as part of her defense regarding the source of some of the funds in her residence.
“The OSP’s criminal intelligence further suggested that the first respondent, as a Minister of State, was engaged in an undisclosed and undeclared real estate business in which she obscured and concealed the transactions by employing the use of aliases to avoid detection of the actual ownership of the business and properties, while cleverly receiving the proceeds of the transactions in her bank accounts and investments.”
The document also revealed that “criminal intelligence suggested that the first respondent had unexplained large cash sums of money (far above her income as a Minister of State) secreted and stashed up in her residence; and that her house-helps had allegedly helped themselves to part of said sums of money through larceny.”
Relating the findings to the original case where her two househelps are said to have stolen a million dollars, and hundreds of thousands of monies in euros and Ghana cedis; the OSP said there was no evidence of the source of the stolen funds.
“There are no financial records and traces of the origin(s) of the money reportedly stolen from the residence of the respondents and the money discovered by the OSP at said residence.
“Further, there is no evidence of the amounts of money having been derived from any legitimate businesses, profession or vocation, and no evidence of said amounts having been lawfully declared and subjected to any statutory payments.
“During the search conducted in her presence, the first respondent disavowed and claimed no knowledge of the presence of the said cash sums in the residence. The conduct of the first respondent, being a public officer, heightened the suspicion of the authorised officers of the OSP that the cash sums were tainted property.”
The OSP unfreezed the former minister’s accounts and returned her properties as directed by the court on August 21, the office complied and refroze them again before putting in the current application.
A hearing has been slated for October 18, 2023.