The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has stated that it disagrees with an Accra High Court judgement on the frozen bank accounts of Cecilia Dapaah, a former Minister of Water Resources and Sanitation.
The High Court rejected the application for seizure and freezing of the embattled former minister’s bank accounts and assets on Thursday, August 31, 2023, on the grounds that the OSP had breached the Special Prosecutor Act 2017, Act 959, when he filed the application out of time.
The court ruled that because the OSP did not disclose the details of the transactions in the accounts, there was no justification for the seizure and freeze.
It contended that the freezing order was based on public sentiment and not on any justifiable legal basis.
The OSP launched an investigation in the third week of July 2023 on Ms. Dapaah’s suspected corruption and corruption-related offences involving a huge amount of money and as well as other valuable.]
Mr. Kissi Agyebeng, the Special Prosecutor, said in a statement issued in Accra that though his office disagreed with the judgement, it respected the Court’s decision.
He said the Court’s computation of the time limitation was erroneous.
According to the statement, the OSP searched three private properties affiliated with Ms. Dapaah over a two-week period.
It said that the searches and discovery were ongoing during that period, and there was little doubt that the OSP filed its application within the statutory window once the search and discovery window was considered.
The statement said the OSP seizure and the Special Prosecutor’s freezing order were both carried out based on reasonable suspicion that the amounts and bank balances were tainted property.
It said Ms. Dapaah lied about the sources of the money she reported stolen from her residence, the amount discovered by the OSP in her home, and the volume of transactions in her bank accounts and investments.
The OSP said the freezing order was based on court processes filed in a criminal matter and not on public sentiments.
It stated that the freezing order was issued to facilitate the inquiry, as required by law, and not based on the investigation, as the Court indicated.
“Therefore, it cannot be said that the OSP did not carry out proper investigations to warrant the freezing order. The investigation has only commenced, and it is ongoing,” it added.
The OSP assured the public that it would take the required legal steps to ensure that the seized funds, as well as the balances in Ms. Dapaah’s bank accounts and assets, were “neither concealed, lost, or otherwise dissipated.”
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