Freezing of Cecilia Dapaah’s bank accounts – Court to deliver ruling on Aug 31

The High Court in Accra is scheduled to announce its decision on whether the Special Prosecutor can continue the freeze on the bank accounts of former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Dapaah, on Thursday, August 31 of this year. This decision comes after an application was presented in court by Dr Isidore Tuffour, representing the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP). The application aims to validate the freezing of $590,000 and GH¢ 2,730,000 discovered in her residences during searches.

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Dr Tuffour revealed that Cecilia Dapaah was unable to explain the origin of the funds and there is a dispute regarding the ownership of the alleged embezzled money. He argued that there is no necessity to demonstrate a basis for suspicion that the accounts were involved in wrongdoing.

However, Victoria Barth, legal counsel for Cecilia Dapaah, countered that the confirmation application violated the guidelines outlined in the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959). She pointed out that section 32(2) of Act 959 required the application for confirmation to be submitted within seven days after the seizure, and in this case, it was filed after that timeframe. Barth further argued that the substantial amounts discovered in her client’s residence do not automatically validate the seizure of her property. She emphasized that the mere fact of an ongoing corruption investigation does not provide sufficient grounds to freeze her accounts.

According to Barth, the Special Prosecutor Act mandates the applicant to provide credible reasons for believing that the assets are linked to illicit activities, rather than a mere assertion of the fact. In her perspective, the OSP had not provided compelling evidence to support the claim that the discovered funds were connected to illicit activities.

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In response to a question from the presiding judge about why only Cecilia Dapaah was under investigation when the allegedly tainted money was found in her marital home, Dr Tuffour stated that Cecilia Dapaah’s husband had also been arrested in connection with the case.

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