Return Cecilia’s Monies In 72 hrs- Court Orders OSP


The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) was yesterday ordered by a High Court in Accra to return the $590,000 and GH¢2.73 million its officers found and seized from the home of former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Dapaah, within 72 hours.

The order was given by Justice Nana Brew, a relieving judge following a decision by the OSP to withdraw the two cases it was prosecuting against Madam Dapaah before the court.

It was not immediately known why the Office decided to drop the cases, as the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, Madam Dapaah, her husband Daniel Osei Kuffuor and their lawyers met in the judge’s chambers when the case was called, at the instance of the OSP.

It later emerged that the OSP has transferred the case to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) for further investigation due to “indications of suspected money laundering and structuring,” an offence the mandate of the OSP does not cover.

This is the second time the court has ordered the OSP to defreeze the bank accounts of Madam Dapaah in respect of a corruption and corruption-related investigation the Office was conducting against her.

The first order was in August last year when the court, presided over by Justice Edward Twum, dismissed the OSP’s application seeking confirmation of the freezing of the bank accounts.

The OSP complied with the order but almost immediately froze the bank accounts again and went ahead to file another application seeking the confirmation of the bank accounts as required by the OSP Act.


OSP Moves

The Office had filed a repeat application for confirmation of seizure of $590,000 and GH¢2.73 million found in the former minister’s home and the freezing of her seven bank accounts after an earlier one was dismissed by the court for not complying with the rules.

The OSP had also charged Madam Dapaah for failing to declare her assets and the case was before the same court, but had to be adjourned multiple times due to different factors, including a petition by the OSP which asked the Chief Justice to remove Justice Edward Twum from the case and all other cases being prosecuted by the Office on ground of bias.

But the OSP, after a meeting with the judge and defence lawyers in chambers yesterday, decided to drop the two cases against the former minister, and he was ordered by Justice Nana Brew, the presiding judge, to defreeze the accounts as well as return the seized assets to Madam Dapaah within 72 hours.


Press Statement

The OSP, in a press statement, indicated that it has transferred the investigation to EOCO, nearly seven months after she was arrested because after “extensive investigation by the OSP and a parallel inquiry by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States, no direct and immediate evidence of corruption has been found in the seized funds and frozen bank accounts linked to Ms. Dapaah and her associates.”

It said the investigation has identified strong indications of suspected money laundering and structuring, indicating that while the OSP acknowledges these suspected offences, they do not fall directly within its mandate as it does not fall within corruption and corruption-related offences as defined under section 79 of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959).

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 two maids, Patience Botwe and Sara Agyei as well as five (5) other accomplices are currently standing trial before an Accra Circuit Court for stealing $1 million and several millions of Ghana Cedis from the home of the former minister.

She resigned from her position as a Minister of State on July 22, 2023, after several calls by the general public on her to step down after a revelation of the huge sums of money – both in Ghana Cedis and other foreign currencies were reportedly stolen from her matrimonial home.

The Office has filed a repeat application for confirmation of seizure of $590,000 and GH¢2.73 million found in her home and the freezing of her seven bank accounts after an earlier one was dismissed by an Accra High Court for not complying with the rules.


BY Gibril Abdul Razak