The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has announced that, in compliance with a Court ruling, it has unfrozen the accounts of embattled Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah and also returned all the cash it had seized to her.
In a press release, signed by the Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyebeng on Tuesday August 5, 2023, the office noted that it carried out the orders of the court in the presence of Mrs Cecilia Dapaah herself and her lawyer.
The office, however, added that it quickly seized the cash again and has directed that her bank accounts and investments be frozen effective today, September 5, 2023 in a dramatic turn of events.
The OSP had searched the residences of Cecilia Dapaah, seized her cash and frozen her accounts and investments after it emerged in court that she had sued her house helps for stealing huge sums of cash (1 million dollars and 300 euros) and other valuables from her residence. But the Court refused his application to authorize the seizure and freezing of accounts on the basis that the OSP did not comply with the law. It ordered him to return her assets and unfreeze her accounts. This, the OSP has done but has acted swiftly to seize them and freeze the accounts yet again.
Below is the press statement from the OSP:
The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has complied with the ruling and order of the High Court, Accra dated 31 August 2023 by unfreezing the frozen bank accounts and investments of Cecilia Abena Dapaah. The OSP has also returned the seized cash sums of Ms. Dapaah in the presence and assent of Ms. Dapaah and her lawyers. The satisfaction by the OSP of the order of the High Court terminates the proceedings of the seizure of the cash amounts from Ms. Dapaah commenced on 24 July 2023 and the freezing of her bank accounts and investments effected from 26 July 2023.
However, the investigation by the OSP in respect of Ms. Dapaah for suspected corruption and corruption-related offences involving the ownership and source(s) of large amounts of money associated with Ms. Dapaah has been and is still ongoing.
Subsequent to the indicated ruling and order of the High Court and the compliance by the OSP with said ruling and order, the ongoing investigation by the OSP of Ms. Dapaah has uncovered varying and sometimes conflicting accounts of the ownership and sources) of the large amounts of money reportedly stolen from her residence, the cash amounts seized from her by the OSP, and the nature and volume of transactions in her bank accounts and investments.
Consequently, subsequent to the indicated ruling and order of the High Court and the compliance by the OSP with said ruling and order, the Special Prosecutor considers that freezing the bank accounts and investments of Ms. Dapaah is necessary to facilitate the ongoing investigation.
Therefore, the Special Prosecutor has invoked his statutory power under section 38(1) of Act 959 and regulation 19(1) of L.1. 2374 by directing the freezing of the bank accounts and investments of Ms. Dapaah effective 5 September 2023.
Further, subsequent to the indicated ruling and order of the High Court and the compliance by the OSP with said ruling and order, the Special Prosecutor considers that he has reasonable grounds to suspect that the cash amounts seized from and returned to Ms. Dapaah is tainted property and it is necessary to exercise the power of seizure to prevent the concealment or loss of said cash amounts.
Therefore, the Special Prosecutor has again invoked his statutory power under section 32(1)(a) of Act 959 by directing the seizure from Ms. Dapaah of the cash amounts previously seized from her. Authorized officers of the OSP have seized said cash amounts from Ms. Dapaah.