Cecilia Abena Dapaah, a former minister for sanitation and water resources, disputed the Office of the Special Prosecutor’s (OSP) assertion that she was getting money from her late brother’s bank account.
After complying with a court order to restore funds and assets taken from the former minister on suspicion of corruption and crimes linked to corruption, the OSP reclaimed the funds and asked the court to affirm the new seizure.
However, Madam Dapaah vigorously refuted and refuted claims that the money and valuables confiscated from her home were contaminated in a sworn document in response to the OSP’s application.
The OSP had informed the court that the deceased brother of the former minister’s bank account is still open and that, despite being meant to be dormant, the account recently paid money to the former minister.
However, in response to the accusation, Madam Dapaah claimed that the funds were moved from an account that was formed to accept funeral contributions for her late brother and was appropriately titled “The Late Nana Akwasi Essan” for whom she is a signatory and that the account was opened to gather donations for funeral expenses.
She said that the funds moved from the disputed account to her bank account were for the purpose of paying tuition for her late brother’s children.
“That money was being transferred from my deceased brother’s account into my account when the truth is that funds were transferred from Cal Bank from an account in the name “The Late Nana Akwasi Essan” to which I am a signatory. This account was opened with funeral donations collected by Cal Bank at my late brother’s funeral.
“The correct account name is conspicuously stated in Applicant’s Exhibit OSP18 and the Applicant could easily have ascertained the mandate on the account from Cal Bank. The funds are transferred to me for payment of the school fees of my late brother’s children,” she stated in her affidavit.
The OSP had, on September 11, filed the second motion in an attempt to have the monies, suspected to be tainted property, investigated.
On July 24, 2023, the OSP seized five hundred and ninety thousand United States dollars ($590,000.00) and two million eight hundred and sixty-two thousand and seven Ghana cedis from the residence of Madam Cecilia Dapaah following a news publication in the Chronicle newspaper that some persons had been arraigned for allegedly stealing $1,000,000.00 dollars from her home.
On August 31, 2023, an Accra High Court presided over by Justice Edward Twum dismissed the OSP’s first attempt to confirm the seizure of Madam Dapaah’s monies and the freezing of her bank accounts on grounds that the OSP suspected them to be tainted property.
In compliance with the court’s order to return Madam Cecilia Dapaah’s properties within seven (7) days, the OSP announced on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, that it had complied with the court’s order but had subsequently re-seized Madam Cecilia Dapaah’s properties to aid ongoing investigations, citing reasonable grounds that the cash sums remained suspected tainted property.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor also claimed that the second seizure was effected to prevent loss, concealment, or dissipation pending the completion of the ongoing investigation.
The OSP’s application was expected to be moved at the High Court on Wednesday, October 18, 2023. However, a lawyer for Ms. Dapaah, Victoria Barth, has filed an application for an abridgment of time for the application to be heard by the court earlier.
The application for an abridgment of time is expected to be heard on Wednesday, October 11, 2023.