The decision by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to wash its hands off the former Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah’s case, has sent shockwaves through the country as nobody expected it.
The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, after a prolonged investigation into Cecilia Dapaah’s case announced that it will be continued by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) during a news conference in Accra yesterday.
“A little over an hour ago, the Office discontinued its application that was pending before the High Court for a confirmation of the seizure and freezing orders, in pursuance of the referral of the case to EOCO”, Mr. Agyebeng announced.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor, known for its relentless pursuit for justice, was actively investigating allegations of money laundering, involving the former minister of sanitation, Cecilia Dapaah, which has been a focal point in the public eye.
The Office, which had the benefit of seven (7) months of in-country and four (4) months of collaborative trans-boundary investigation and gathered evidence and intelligence has described the case as suspected money laundering and structuring.
According to the OSP, by operation of law, the Economic and Organised Crime Office has a specific and direct mandate in respect of suspected cases of money laundering and its attendant activity of structuring and the reason OSP is referring the case to EOCO for continued investigation and further action.
However, per the OSP, an extensive investigation was conducted in-country, involving twenty (20) persons and three (3) state institutions, and especially in the Ashanti Region, to establish the financial standing of Ms. Dapaah’s deceased brother during his lifetime and at the time of his death.
“From October 2023, the investigation became cross-border and trans-boundary upon the claim by the persons of interest that part of the seized cash sums was transported to Ghana from the United States.
“For that reason, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States became involved in a collaborative investigative work with the Office on the matter”, he continued to explain.
In a related development, the Accra High Court has ordered the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to return Cecilia Dapaah’s seized funds to her within 72 hours.
This follows an application by the OSP to confirm the freezing and seizure orders regarding the bank accounts and assets at the former Minister’s home.
This was as a result of an application by the OSP to confirm the freezing and seizure orders regarding the bank accounts and assets at the former Minister’s home.
“The Court ordered a return of the seized cash sums and unfreezing of the bank accounts and investments within seventy-two (72) hours”, he stated!
The OSP has also discontinued the procedural criminal charge against Ms. Dapaah for failure to return forms on declaration of property and income.
Two house helps who worked for Cecilia Abena Dapaah and her husband, Daniel Osei Kuffour are facing charges for allegedly stealing monies and items worth millions of cedis from the couple’s residence at Abelemkpe in Accra.
The main accused individuals, 18-year-old Patience Botwe and 30-year-old Sarah Agyei have been charged with conspiracy to commit crime and five counts of stealing. The alleged thefts occurred between July and October 2022.
During this period, the house helps allegedly stole personal effects belonging to Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, including assorted clothes valued at GH¢95,000, handbags, perfumes, and jewellery worth US$95,000.
Additionally, Ms Botwe is accused of stealing six pieces of Kente cloth worth GH¢90,000 and six sets of men’s suits valued at US$3,000, which belong to the minister’s husband.
Furthermore, three other individuals, identified as Ms Botwe’s current and former boyfriends and her father, are also facing charges for allegedly being involved in the crime. They have been respectively charged with dishonestly receiving GH¢1 million, GH¢180,000, and GH¢50,000. The Special Prosecutor (OSP) later arrested Cecilia Dapaah for investigations, for suspicion of corruption and corruption-related offences, regarding large amounts of money and other valuable items reportedly stolen from her residence.