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OSP seeks court order to freeze  assets of Cecilia Dapaah 

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has gone to an Accra High Court with an application to freeze the assets of Cecilia Abena Dapaah, embattled former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resource.

The court is expected to hear the application for “confirmation of order of freezing of suspected tainted property,” on August 17,2023.

The OSP actions come after the Cecilia Dapaah hauled her domestic workers and their boyfriends for allegedly stealing huge sums of monies both local and foreign currencies at her residence, before court.

An affidavit in support of the OSP motion said further searches have led to the discovery of cash in the sum of $590,000 and GH₵‎2.7 million (GH₵‎2,730,000) at the Abelemkpe residence of the former minister.

Three properties belonging to Cecilia Dapaah, located in Cantonments, Abelemkpe, and Tesano, were subjected to a search.

Officials from the Office of the Special Prosecutor subsequently seized these cash sums to aid ongoing investigations.

“Authourised officers of the OSP seized the discovered cash sums on reasonable grounds that they were suspected tainted property in accordance with Section 23 (1) of Act 959 as it was necessary to exercise the power of seizure to prevent concealment of the cash sums.”

The OSP said to facilitate investigations, it considered it necessary for the issuance of a “freezing order against the bank accounts and investments of the respondent (Cecilia Dapaah) at Prudential Bank Limited and Societe Generale Ghana in accordance with Section 38 (1) of Act 959 and regulation 19 (1) of LI 2374.

The OSP noted that in a directional advice dated July 31, 2023, the Attorney General directed the Director General of the Criminal Investigations Department of the Ghana Police Service to conduct investigation on the true ownership and sources of the amounts reportedly stolen from the residence of the former Minister.

It said the directive affirmed the reasonableness of the investigations being carried out by the OSP as to the sources of the large sum of money associated with the former Minister.

The OSP on July 24, 2023, arrested Cecilia Dapaah on charges of corruption and corruption related offences.

Subsequently, the OSP conducted searches in three residential properties associated with the respondent at Cantonments, Abelemkpe and Tesano, all in Accra.

An Accra Circuit Court has granted GH₵1million bail with three sureties to two of the seven persons standing trial in the theft case in Madam Cecilia Dapaah, a former Minister for Sanitation’s house.

The two accused persons are said to be lactating mothers.

The Court also remanded five others into Police custody.

The accused persons are facing eleven charges of alleged theft of a substantial amount of money from the house of the former Minister.

The charges include six counts of stealing and five counts of dishonestly receiving.

The Court, presided over by Mrs Afia Owusuaa Appiah, ordered that the sureties be justified.

The trial judge also ordered the defense counsels for the lactating mothers to provide a documented evidence that proved that they were lactating mothers.

Prosecution, led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Emmanuel Nyamekye, told the court that the fact and charge sheets had been amended

Meanwhile, the court has discharged Kwaku Botwe, father of Patience Botwe.

The prosecution said one other accused person, Franklin Sarakpo, was at large.

The case has been adjourned to August 22, 2023.

The prosecution told the court that the complainants in the case were Mr Daniel Osei Kufour and his wife Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, who lived at Abelemkpe in Accra.

It said the first accused person, Patience Botwe, alias Maabena, was a househelp of the complainants, and that the second accused person, Sarah Agyei, was unemployed and a former house help of the complainants.

The prosecution said the third accused person, Benjamin Sowah, was Patience Botwe’s  boyfriend, and the fourth accused, Malik Dauda, was first accused’s former boyfriend.

The fifth accused, Christiana Achab, a trader, sixth accused, Job Pomary,  husband of fifth accused, and the seventh accused, Yahaya Sumaila, an excavator operator residing at Sagnarigu in the Tamale Metropolis.

The eighth accused, Franklin Sarakpo, son of fifth accused, is on the run.

The prosecution said in June 2023, the complainants reported theft of their cash and some personal effects and upon the receipt of the complaint, Police commenced investigations.

It said Police investigations led to the arrest of the first and third accused persons at their hide outs in Tamale in the Northern Region.

The prosecution said a search conducted in their rooms found the sum of $40,000 and GH₵7,619.70.

It said further investigations revealed that, in October 2022, Mr Kufour returned from town and noticed that their bedroom, which was locked had been opened and heard an unusual noise therein.

The prosecution said he (complainant) entered the room and found the first accused hiding behind their storeroom door with duplicate keys to the master bedroom.

Subsequently, it said the complainants detected theft of properties.

The prosecution said the first accused told police during interrogation that, she gave $70,000 out of the stolen money to the fifth accused allegedly to buy a three-bedroom house at Amrahia for her and also bought some brand new items, which were also retrieved from the house.

It said one double decker refrigerator, one television set, one washing machine, one chest freezer, one gas cooker, one water dispenser and related items were retrieved.

The prosecution said Police investigations also established that the first and third accused persons had used some of the stolen money to buy Hyundai Elantra valued GH₵80.000 allegedly.

It said the first accused also allegedly gave GH₵180,000 to the third accused, who used same to purchase an unregistered Honda Civic car, which had been retrieved.

The prosecution said investigations also disclosed that the first accused and the third accused used parts of the stolen money to rent a three-bed room apartment in Tamale valued GH₵105,600 for two years.

Additionally, the prosecution said the first accused and the third accused allegedly used parts of the stolen money to rent a storeroom in Tamale valued at GH₵120,000.

It said the first accused also mentioned the second accused as her accomplice, saying when they were working in the complainants’ house, she used to keep watch of the main gate for the second accused to steal money from the complainants’ room after, which they shared.

The prosecution said the second accused was subsequently arrested from her hideout in Budumburam, a suburb of Kasoa in the Central Region, where investigations disclosed that the she had used part of the stolen money to build a three bedroom self-contain house at Budumburam.

The first accused also allegedly gave GH₵5,000 out of the stolen money to the fourth accused, who admitted the preceding fact during interrogation.

The prosecution said the second accused allegedly gave GH₵100,000 out of the stolen money to the fourth accused.

It said the fifth, sixth and eighth accused persons, who were wanted by the Police for their involvement in the case were arrested for investigation as well.

The prosecution said further investigations revealed that the first accused allegedly gave unspecified amount of money in dollars to her deceased brother called Joe, who also parted some of the stolen money to the fifth accused, who was living in a wooden structure with her husband within the same locality as the first accused.

The prosecution said the fifth accused, who knew that the first accused had stolen money from the complainants, collected  GH₵2,830.000 of the stolen money and purchased an eleven-unit chamber and hall self-contain house at Budumburam at GH₵800.000 for herself.

It said the fifth accused again purchased a three-bedroom house at Aplaku at GH₵300,000 also for the first accused.

The prosecution said the fifth and sixth accused persons also purchased a four-bedroom house at Kokrobite at the cost of GH₵280,000 for the fifth accused. .

It said the fifth accused person also invited the seventh accused person from Tamale and  purchased a three bedroom self-contain house at Amrahia at the cost of GH₵850,000 for him.

Investigations further disclosed that the fifth accused person allegedly purchased two Honda Acura vehicles at GH₵300,000 each,  which were registered in the name of the eighth and first accused persons from the proceeds.

The prosecution said the case was still under investigation.

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