The Director of Strategy, Research and Communication Division at the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), Sammy Appiah Darko says the office will comply with the order of the High Court to release accounts and monies belonging to the former Minister of Sanitation, Cecilia Abena Dapaah.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, September 2, he said the OSP has various legal avenues at its disposal to ensure that Madam Abena Dapaah’s funds are not lost.
“You are aware of several options we have. In this instance, there’s no talk about any appeal. The OSP will use every legal means available to us. There are several legal means available to us with respect to the seized money and the frozen account.”
In a press statement issued by the OSP, the office disagreed with the high court’s refusal to grant the application for the seizure and freezing orders of Cecilia Dapaah’s funds and accounts.
The OSP said that the court’s conclusion not to grant their order is erroneous and that the office, while respecting the decision, disagrees with the same.
The statement further said that the office will take all necessary legal steps to ensure that the seized amounts and the balances in Ms. Dapaah’s accounts and investments are neither concealed nor lost.
On the back of this, Mr Darko reiterated “As the Special Prosecutor indicated, we are going to comply with the order of the court but as you also know, we also have several legal avenues available to us to ensure that the money is not dissipated neither is it taken away.”
He clarified that the OSP’s primary role is to investigate cases of corruption and corruption-related offenses – and after conducting an investigation, proceed to charge individuals with specific corruption offenses.
Mr. Darko emphasised that, in the case of the former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the OSP is currently investigating her for corruption and corruption-related offenses and has not yet filed formal charges against her.
The Director of Strategy, Research and Communication Division at the OSP pointed out that the law allows the OSP to request a confirmation order from the court within 14 days if the Special Prosecutor thinks a property is likely to be tainted.
He explained that regarding the investigation into the assets of the former Sanitation Minister, the OSP met this 14-day time-frame and expressed surprise as to why the court refused to grant a freezing order.
“Mrs Dapaah is being investigated for corruption and corruption-related offences so if the court wants to say that we will not confirm, then the court should be able to give reasons why they think that Mrs Dapaah is not being investigated for corruption and corruption-related offences.
“This is why in our estimation, we said that we disagree with the court because the court has to give grounds within what is in our law,” he said.
Mr Darko maintained that the OSP aims to ascertain and inform the Ghanaian populace whether Madam Abena Dapaah’s funds are tainted or not so that appropriate charges will be filed.
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 orders 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.
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