The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has reacted to the court order to return all the seized properties of the former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Mrs Cecilia Dapaah within seven days.
In a press statement released and signed by the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, on Thursday, August 31, 2023, copied to Soireenews.com stated that even though the OSP regards the decision of the court, it disagrees with the court order.
The OSP refuted the court order on the grounds that, unlike the court’s claim that the application of the seizure and freezing orders filed by the OSP was done out of time, the said application was filed within the statutory time frame.
“While the OSP respects the Court's decision, it disagrees with the decision of the Court. First, the OSP believes that the Court's computation of the time limitation is, with respect, erroneous. The OSP searched three (3) private residences associated with Ms. Dapaah over the course of two (2) weeks. The searches and discovery were ongoing during that period. There is little doubt that the OSP filed its application within the statutory window once the search and discovery window is considered,” parts of the statement read.
The OSP also added that the freezing and seizure actions were not taken based on public sentiments but in the confines of reasonable suspicion that the amounts of money in the accounts of the embattled former minister were questionable.
“Second, the seizure by the OSP and the Special Prosecutor's freezing order was effectuated on the very firm basis of reasonable suspicion that the amounts and bank balances were tainted property as Ms. Dapaah prevaricated as to the source(s) of the amounts she reported stolen from her residence, the amounts discovered by the OSP in her residence, and the volume of transactions in her bank accounts and investments,” the statement added.
The OSP applied for the court to confirm its freeze order of some of Cecilia Dapaah's assets including her bank accounts and monies found at her properties.
GhanaWeb, on August 9, 2023, reported that the embattled former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Dapaah’s assets and bank accounts containing millions of dollars and cedis had been frozen by the Office of the Special Prosecutor.
Cecilia Dapaah has been in a legal tussle with the OSP after the institution froze her assets, including her bank accounts.
She is currently under investigation by the OSP for corruption and corruption-related offences after two of her house helps have been charged for stealing more than $1 million, €300,000 in cash and other valuable items from her residence at Abelemkpe.
However, the Office of the Special Prosecutor was today, directed by an Accra High Court to return cash amounts seized from the residence of the former Minister of Sanitation, Cecilia Dapaah within seven days.