Our Former Maid Has Become A Millionaire! …Cecilia Dapaah’s husband tells court

A House help, who was once depending on stipends from her employers for survival, has all of a sudden become a millionaire, a development that has surprised Mr Daniel Osei Kuffour, husband of Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, a former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources.

Some of the suspects in the alleged theft case

The 81 year old Daniel Osei-Kuffour told an Accra High Court trying domestic workers of Madam Cecilia Dapaah, over the alleged theft that, the second accused (A2) had acquired three or four bedroom house fitted with metal doors, with the floor laid with ceramic tiles.
Mr. Osei-Kuffour, first Prosecution Witness (PW1) again told the court that A2 (Sarah Agyei) was their domestic staff for five years and later returned to their home to continuously enjoy their benevolence.

When Augustine Gyamfi, Counsel for A2, asked him whether he knew the status of Sarah, after she left his house (employment), PW1 simply answered: “She has become a millionaire.”

But Mr Gyamfi, whilst cross-examining PW1, indicated that far from what the witness had told the court that his client stole their money, the embattled House help has become a millionaire, which he (Kuffour) claims is because she (Sarah) takes food orders for funerals and other supplies.

The Counsel added that the little money that she (A2) makes from her food business is what PW1 is claiming had made her a millionaire.
He also informed the court, presided over by Justice Marie-Louise Simmons that PW1 cannot pinpoint or declare how much A2 had allegedly stolen or how much money he had deposited in the store room over the past 20 years.

Mr Gyamfi argued that it was not possible for A2 to have entered the couple’s house to steal those huge sums of money and jewelleries, because PW1 had told the court that it was only his wife who could enter the room.
Secondly, when PW1 needed money, he would make a request to his wife, hence the room was not accessible to just anybody.

However, the court was told that Sarah and Patience Botwe (A1), both domestic workers of the couple, allegedly plotted and robbed PW1 and his wife off their money.
Mr. Osei-Kuffour said the two played a special game – while one was taking the money, the other kept watch of impending danger.
Accused and charges

Cecilia Abena Dapaah

Benjamin Sowah, Malik Dauda, Christiana Achab, Job Pomary and Yahaya Sumaila have been charged for unlawful receipt of part of the money.
Patience and Sarah have also been cited for conspiracy and stealing.
They have all pleaded not guilty and apart from A1, the rest have been granted bail, but none of them had been able to execute the bail bond.

Cross-examination of Mr Daniel Kuffour (PW1)

Q: At the time your wife returned from Kumasi, had you already reported the matter to the Tesano Police station?
A: Yes my Lady.
Q: When exactly did you realise that such huge sums of money had been taken from your house or at the store?

A: It will be approximately six weeks after we reported. I cannot be sure of the exact date.
Q: So when you went to the Police Station, you had no idea of the stolen money. Is that what you want the Court to believe?
A: I did not know. It was strange to find an intruder in the room. So naturally, one would have to go to the Police and report.

Q: Per paragraph 23 of your witness statement, you have listed the monies, which are alleged to have been stolen from your house. Tell the Court when you deposited those monies at the store?

A: My Lady, it will be over 20 years.
Q: So per paragraph 23 of your witness statement, you said the money alleged to have been stolen are US$200,000 belonging to my niece/my client, €300,000 belonging to myself, GH¢300,000.00 being contributions my wife and her siblings made towards the funeral of their late mother and GH¢50,000.00 belonging to my wife. When did your wife’s mother pass?

A: That was about June 2022. So for that period, her siblings started gathering money and they were giving it to her to keep.
Q: I’m putting it to you that you are even not aware of the quantum of money that is alleged to have been stolen from your store?
A: My Lady, what Counsel is saying is not true.
Q: Do you know that at the time your wife’s mother passed on, A2 was not living in your house?

A: My Lady. She was not.
Q: I am putting to you that it is not possible for A2, who was not living in your house to have access to your store?
BY COURT: The question is disallowed as it is an unfair question. It is possible for persons who choose to enter other people’s homes without consent, like trespassers and robbers, to do so without necessarily being residents of that household.

Q: At the last adjourned date you told this court that apart from your wife, nobody enters that store room. Is that correct?
A: Nobody enters on their own. I didn’t remember that any of them went there without supervision.

Q: So it is not possible for A2 to have entered your house to steal those huge sums of money and jewelleries?
A: During one of the confrontations that we were present, Al mentioned that the method that was adopted was that, A2 will be in the room operating and Al will be at the gate watching out. And then A2 supplied the original keys of the house and A1 will go and cut the duplicate key.

Q: I’m putting to you that this your answer is an afterthought?
A: That is the truth, not an afterthought.
Q: Do you know in your witness statement you did not state anything like that?
A: Though everything is not captured in my witness statement, but the way you ask the questions, I will have to employ the knowledge I have in this process to be able to answer your questions.

Q: How much has A2 stolen from your store?
A: I wouldn’t know. It is between the two of them. They themselves will know. Because I have already stated that Al’s boyfriend, Malik was given money by A2, GH¢100,000.00.
Q: I’m putting it to you that A2, Sarah Agyei, has not taken any money from your house?

A: My Lady what counsel is saying is not true.
Q: And I’m further putting it to you that you do not even know since you put the Money there 20 years ago, you do not even know when the money was stolen?

A: I have told the Court that the time we started putting money there will be about 20 years. So all the money were not put there exactly 20 years ago.
Q: Can you tell the Court, within that 20 years, when and when and when did you put specific monies there?

A: I wouldn’t remember.
Q: How often in the house do you personally visit that store room?
A: Maybe once in a month. It could be once in three weeks, once in two weeks. That is where I put my special clothing, so anytime I needed to access clothing, which is when I will collect the keys and go there.

Q: Apart from going to take your clothing from that room, what else do you go there to do?
A: With money, I ask my wife. But with clothing, I go there myself to take clothing that I need.
Q. Are you per this answer telling the court you will go there to take the monies for your personal usage?

A. Not personally, I ask my wife
Q. Are you suggesting that your wife go there to take money for the use of the household?
A. I wouldn’t know if she needs money for herself. I wouldn’t know where she takes money from, but when I need money I ask her.

Q. So these monies were not monies saved but monies kept which could be accessed for the use of the household?
A. I wouldn’t know. For example if my wife wants to go to the market to buy food stuff I wouldn’t know where she takes it from.

Q. You have just told the court that if you need money she will go there and take the money for you?
A. Yes my lady. For example monies from my clients are there so whenever I need those monies for my clients for construction, I will tell my wife and it will be made available.

Q. At paragraph 23 of your witness statement, you mentioned your niece who is also your client. Tell the Court how is she your client?
A: Because she knows I am an architect, she wants me to assist her to do her projects. So if she comes home and gives me money, I give to my wife to keep. And when I need the money, I ask my wife and I sent it to the project site.

Q: What kind of project were you doing for your niece, your client?
A: There is one office shop at Ashongman. About four storey building. There is also two storey residence at Osino area. There is another three storey residence being converted into apartments at Mpraeso. There is a hotel project being put up…

Q: All these projects have reached an appreciable level. Is that not the case?
A: Some just started, some are at various levels of completion. They are all at various levels.
Q: All these projects came from the US$200,000 she gave you?
A: It could be more but at the time the monies were detected to be missing will amount to USD200,000.

Q: So how much did your niece give you to do the projects in total?
A: It could be about US$500,000 in all.
Q: You are not being truthful to this Court. I am putting it to you.
A: My Lady what counsel is telling me is not correct.

Q: You have mentioned that out of the monies missing, your niece gave you US$200,000?
A: I did not say that. The time that we detected the theft, her money with me was about US$200,000.

Q: I am putting it to you that in your witness statement, it is stated that your niece, your client gave you US$200,000, not that her money with you was left with US$200,000?
A: That is true.
Q: Do you know, A2’s life after she left your house?
A: Yes my Lady. She has become a millionaire.

Q: Do you know A2 has become a millionaire because she takes food orders for funerals and supply and that gave her the little money you claim has made her a millionaire?

A: One time after the Police had arrested her, we went with the Police for inspection and where she was living, she told the Police that she had rented the place, but upon further investigation, it turned out that she had bought the house and then her three or four bedroom house that we inspected, all the doors were metal doors and the front door was like a strong room door with a sliding fold behind it.

All the bathrooms had metal doors and the floor was ceramics tiles. And the estimate was mind boggling. And a house help who left the house with pregnancy and told my wife that she couldn’t even feed herself and was getting stipends from my wife and even wanted to come back.

Q: Do you know A2’s source of income after living your house?
A: It is from the stolen money.
Q: You yourself brought A2 back to the house and you increased her salary?
A: Yes my Lady, because she was in difficulty.
Q: And all this while, the money had not been stolen from your house?

A: We wouldn’t know, but when Al came in and they started the conspiracy, and in one of Al’s confessions she said A2 will give the house keys to her to go and duplicate in order that when we go to work, they could be operating.
Q: You want this Court to believe that these monies or this theft occurred within this period of 20 years?

A: No. I never said’that. Because A2 has been there for 5 years and her second time was about a year when she became pregnant again and within her seven month we asked her to go.

Q: Apart from A2, between July and October 2022, there have been several other people who were working in your house?

A: No my Lady. After A1 and A2, we have only one. And she is still there. One, Esther who is still there and even worked with A1. And then there was a problem between A1 and her ex-boyfriend and my wife asked Al to stop coming until she returns from Kumasi to sit and look into the matter. The drivers were not coming into the house. They had nothing to do inside the house.

Q: Did the Police after your complaint extend their investigations to those who have worked in your compound before?
A: Yes my Lady. Esther was called and she gave what she knows.
Q: What of the other people who have come to the house to work. Did they extend their investigations?

A: That was not necessary.
End of cross-examination of PW1 by Counsel for A2
BY COURT: The Prosecution is to make copies of all disclosures filed available to new Counsel for Al to make copies of same at the expense of Al as the documents have already been disclosed and served on Al.

Counsel for A3 is to prepare to cross examine PW1 on the next adjourned date.
Case adjourned to 20th May, 2024 from 2pm to 3pm for cross examination of PW1 by Counsel for 3rd Accused person. Accused persons to remain on the lawful bails.


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