The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), says it has complied with the High Court ruling directing it to return Cecillia Dapaah’s seized cash and unfreeze her bank accounts and investments.
It has however seized the cash and frozen her accounts and investments again to aid in investigation into how they were acquired.
In a press statement issued by the OSP on Tuesday, September 5, it said it returned the cash and freed the accounts in keeping with the High Court orders to unfreeze the accounts and investments and return the former Sanitation and Water Resources Minister’s seized cash.
The cash was returned to her in the presence of her lawyers, according to the OSP.
“The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has complied with the ruling and order of the High Court, Accra dated 31 August 2023 by unfreezing the frozen bank accounts and investments of Cecilia Abena Dapaah.”
“The OSP has also returned the seized cash sums of Ms. Dapaah in the presence and assent of Ms. Dapaah and her lawyers.”
“The satisfaction by the OSP of the order of the High Court terminates the proceedings of the seizure of the cash amounts from Ms. Dapaah commenced on 24 July 2023 and the freezing of her bank accounts and investments effected from 26 July 2023,” excerpts of the release said.
Meanwhile, the OSP has again seized the monies stating that the embattled former Sanitation and Water Resources Minister gave conflicting accounts on the ownership of the monies.
However, this time, the OSP has assured the public that it will apply for the confirmation of the seizure in within regulation.
“Consequently, subsequent to the indicated ruling and order of the High Court and the compliance by the OSP with said ruling and order, the Special Prosecutor considers that freezing the bank accounts and investments of Ms. Dapaah is necessary to facilitate the ongoing investigation.”
“Therefore, the Special Prosecutor has invoked his statutory power under section 38(1) of Act 959 and regulation 19(1) of L.I. 2374 by directing the freezing of the bank accounts and investments of Ms. Dapaah effective 5 September 2023.”
The press release concluded that her accounts have also been frozen again and the necessary legal processes instituted.
“Further, subsequent to the indicated ruling and order of the High Court and the compliance by the OSP with said ruling and order, the Special Prosecutor considers that he has reasonable grounds to suspect that the cash amounts seized from and returned to Ms. Dapaah is tainted property and it is necessary to exercise the power of seizure to prevent the concealment or loss of said cash amounts.”
“Therefore, the Special Prosecutor has again invoked his statutory power under section 32(1)(a) of Act 959 by directing the seizure from Ms. Dapaah of the cash amounts previously seized from her. Authorized officers of the OSP have seized said cash amounts from Ms. Dapaah.”
The Financial and Economic Division of an Accra High Court ordered the Office of the Special Prosecutor to return all monies seized from the embattled former Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah.
The high court refused to grant the application on the grounds that the confirmation of seizure application was filed out of time.
It said that the OSP did not provide any basis for the seizure and the freezing since it did not disclose the details of the transactions in the accounts; and further that the freezing order was based on public sentiments and without proper investigations.
The Court ordered that this ruling be complied with within seven days. The Court also said it cannot confirm the freezing of her bank accounts and other properties.