SP Fights Cecilia Dapaah’s Judge

Cecilia Abena Dapaah


The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has petitioned the Chief Justice to remove Justice Edward Twum from the ongoing case between the Office and former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah and her husband, Daniel Osei Kuffuor.

An Accra High Court was expected to hear an application filed by the OSP seeking confirmation of seizure of $590,000 and GH¢2.73 million found in the home of the former minister as well as freezing of her seven bank accounts.

An earlier application filed by the OSP was dismissed by the court because it did not satisfy the rules, and the court indicated that the OSP should have applied for a warrant before seizing the cash sums.

The case was, however, adjourned to October 18 as the presiding judge stated that he had received a letter indicating that the OSP had petitioned the Chief Justice for him to recuse himself from the case.

The judge subsequently adjourned the case to await the decision of the Chief Justice.

The pending petition has also affected a second case before the court in which the OSP has charged Madam Dapaah for failing to comply with a request from the anti-graft office to declare her property and income.

Victoria Barth, counsel for Madam Dapaah and her husband who was disappointed in the turn of events, indicated that “having regard to the adverse effect that his pending application has on the first respondent (Madam Dapaah), he (Special Prosecutor) did not even deem it fit to give us notice of this petition.”

She said it is regrettable that this petition came so late in the day when no prior indication or complaint had been made regarding the judge’s capacity, competence or integrity in dealing with the matter.

“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,” Madam Barth added.

Regarding the criminal aspect of the case, she told the court that she was not aware of any law or rule of procedure that dispenses with the absence of a lawyer or prosecutor just because they have petitioned the Chief Justice in respect of a matter of which they have due notice and have even initiated.

“As lawyers, we have an ethical duty to show respect to the court and to treat all persons we engage in the administration of justice fairly, and that has not happened today. The OSP is not above the law,” she added.

OSP Statement

The OSP, moments after court proceedings, issued a statement on X (formerly Twitter), indicating that it has requested the Chief Justice to recuse and remove Justice Edward Twum from all cases involving the OSP pending before him.

“The request is grounded on the OSP’s well-founded belief that Justice Edward Twum appears to be highly prejudiced against the OSP and the person of the Special Prosecutor.

“Consequently, as it stands, the OSP would not and cannot be reasonably expected to be parties to proceedings before the said judge,” the statement added.

BY Gibril Abdul Razak