Cecilia Dapaah Arrested Over $1m Cash Scandal

Cecilia Abena Dapaah

Former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, has been arrested by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) following the purported theft of $1 million (£780,000) cash along with €300,000 and several million Ghana cedis, as well as some personal items from her home.

A statement signed by the Special Prosecutor (SP), Kissi Agyabeng, said the former minister was placed under arrest on “suspected corruption and corruption-related offences.”

“Ms. Dapaah is being questioned by authorised Officers of the OSP,” the statement issued yesterday read in part.

The OSP officials escorted the former minister to her home, following her arrest, with aim to uncover some evidence as part of the investigation.

DAILY GUIDE gathered the investigators conducted searches in the house of Ms. Dapaah, hoping to find additional undisclosed monies or assets within her residence.

Her arrest is connected to allegedly large-scale theft of cash and other valuables from her Abelempke home in Accra, for which five persons are on trial.

It is alleged that between July and October 2022, two house helpers, 18-year-old Patience Botwe and 30-year-old Sarah Agyei, and three others reportedly stole $1 million, €300,000, and millions of Ghanaian cedis from Madam Dapaah and her husband.

The former minister, on the other hand, disputes the amounts indicated on prosecution charge sheets as stolen in total, claiming they are inconsistent with what she reported to police.

“I can state emphatically that those figures do not represent correctly what my husband and I reported to the police. I am very much aware of the import of such stories around someone in my position,” Ms. Dapaah said.

“I intend to cooperate fully with all state agencies to enable them to fully establish the facts,” she added.

Madam Dapaah resigned from office over the weekend after becoming the talk of the town following reports that her two house helpers were on trial for allegedly stealing large sums of foreign and local currency from her residence.

She stated in her resignation letter that she decided to leave because she did not want “this matter to become a preoccupation of the government and a hindrance to the work of the government at such a crucial time.”

Many Ghanaians and anti-corruption activists have questioned how a public servant could have so much money stored in her home in the midst of Ghana’s economic crisis.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has since accepted her resignation on Saturday following a public outcry, but also affirmed the former minister’s integrity.

“I am confident, like you, that, at the end of the day, your integrity, whilst in office, will be fully established. I wish you the very best in all your endeavours,” he said.

He also said, “It is with considerable regret that I accept your resignation, and I applaud your loyalty to the image and standing of the government.

“The work you undertook during your period in government was excellent and productive, and I thank you for your wholehearted contribution and devotion to the progress of the government and the nation,” he stated.

By Ernest Kofi Adu