New Judge To Hear OSP’s Application Against Dapaah

Cecilia Dapaah


A new judge is to hear the Special Prosecutor’s application seeking confirmation of the freezing and seizure of properties of former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah.

This is as a result of the substantive judge, Justice Edward Twum being due for his annual leave since taking over the case in August this year.

Justice Twum was one of the 19 judges who sat during the legal vacation between August 1 and October 9, 2023 when other judges were on leave.

The OSP, in a second application, is asking the court to confirm the seizure of $590,000 and GH¢2.73 million found in the home of the former minister and the freezing of her bank accounts on suspicion of corruption and corruption-related offences.

The court was expected to hear the application yesterday if there were no pending issues inhibiting it from doing so.

But both Madam Dapaah and her husband together with lawyers from the OSP and defence lawyers were called into Justice Twum’s chambers when it was time for the case to be mentioned.

It was unclear what transpired in chambers, but a source close to the issue told DAILY GUIDE that the judge was due for his annual leave and a new relieving judge was to be assigned to the case which was subsequently adjourned to November 29, 2023.

The OSP arrested Madam Dapaah on July 24, 2023, on suspicion of corruption and corruption-related offences after she and her husband, Daniel Osei Kuffuor reported huge sums of money was stolen from their home by their two house maids.

The OSP then administratively froze the bank accounts of the former minister and filed an application before an Accra High Court seeking to confirm the $590,000 and GH¢2.86 million seized at her home as well as the freezing of the accounts pending further investigation into the true ownership and source of the monies.

An Accra High Court presided over by Justice Edward Twum, however, dismissed the application, indicating that based on the available facts before it, there was no justifiable basis for the authorised officers of the OSP to exercise the powers of seizure without a court warrant or order.

The OSP subsequently released the funds to Madam Dapaah and also lifted the freeze on the accounts, but later seized the money and again froze the accounts and subsequently filed another application seeking confirmation of the seizure and freeze.

The Office, in its new application, avers that its criminal intelligence suggested that Madam Dapaah had unexplained large cash sums of money far above her income as a Minister of State stashed up in her residence; and that her house helps had allegedly “helped themselves to part of the said sums of money through larceny.”

During the pendency of the case, the OSP wrote to the Chief Justice petitioning her to remove Justice Twum from the case and any other case being prosecuted by the Office, alleging bias against the Office, and the person of the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng.

“We see it, without prejudice to the merit of this petition, as a deliberate ploy to frustrate this morning’s hearing and a desperate attempt to avoid his own ill-fated application. Nevertheless, the inevitable cannot be avoided and there shall be a day of reckoning,” Victoria Barth, counsel for Madam Dapaah and her husband said in reaction to the said petition.

The petition was later dismissed by Chief Justice Gertrude Torkorno through a letter written by the Judicial Secretary, Justice Cynthia Pamela Addo.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak