The Office of the Special Prosecutor has disclosed why it froze the financial assets of Cecilia Abena Dapaah, a former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources.
The OSP has said it needed to undertake such action to prevent the sums discovered in the woman’s residence from getting lost. This was after the OSP had conducted a search in Cecilia Dapaah’s residence and discovered other sums of monies there.
Some bank accounts belonging to Madam Dapaah had also been frozen by the OSP which were later reversed by a High Court order together with seized cash.
The discovered monies according to the OSP was going to be used as evidence, the reason they needed to be kept to avoid concealment or loss. This was contained in a fact sheet released in court Tuesday, September 19, 2023.
“In accordance with section 32(1) (a) of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959), authorised officers of the OSP, having reasonable grounds to suspect that the cash sums are tainted property and that it was necessary to prevent concealment or loss, seized the cash sums discovered at the residence of the respondents in aid of the investigation,” portions of the fact sheet contained.
The OSP ordered for the arrest of the first respondent on July 24, 2023, and subsequently the second respondent –husband of Madam Abena Dapaah, Daniel Osei Kuffour –on August 1, 2023.
“Upon the release of the cash sums of money earlier to the first respondent in compliance with an order of the High Court, Accra dated 31 August 2023, authorised officers of the OSP re-seized same on September 5, 2023, to aid the ongoing investigation upon reasonable grounds that the cash sums of money remained suspected tainted property.
“The seizure was effected to prevent loss, concealment or dissipation pending the completion of the ongoing investigation,” the sheet further indicated.
The OSP has further been explaining that, “the reasonable grounds that the cash sums seized from the residence of the respondents are suspected tainted property (as suspected to be derived, obtained, or realised from the commission of corruption or corruption-related offences) are premised on the consideration that the cash sums are unexplained and not linked to any disclosed lawful source(s) of income of the respondents; and reinforced by the conduct of the respondents in their rendition of varying and sometimes conflicting accounts of the ownership and source(s) of the large amounts of money reportedly stolen from her residence, the cash amounts seized from her by the OSP, and the link between the large sums of money reportedly stolen from their residence and the cash amounts seized by authorised officers of the OSP.”
Following a complaint lodged by Madam Dapaah concerning some sums of monies stolen from her residence by two house helps of hers, there arose a public uproar about the value of the sums stashed in her house.
The two house helps have been charged in court with six others who are alleged to be their accomplices. The OSP came into the matter when issues of corruption and corruption-related offences were raised.
The OSP visited her houses and conducted a search, where more monies were found.