– In a dramatic turn of events, the High Court in Accra has instructed the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to return seized funds belonging to former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Dapaah, within a strict 72-hour timeframe. The ruling comes after a legal tussle between the OSP and Ms. Dapaah, which began with the seizure of large sums of cash from her residence in July 2023.
The OSP’s actions stemmed from suspicions of corruption and corruption-related offenses, prompting an investigation and Ms. Dapaah’s subsequent arrest and grant of bail. The seized funds, reportedly amounting to millions of US dollars, euros, and Ghanaian cedis, were frozen alongside Ms. Dapaah’s bank accounts.
Today’s court ruling, however, throws a wrench into the OSP’s investigation. Justice Edward Twum, presiding over the case, found that the OSP had breached the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 Act 959, by filing the application to freeze Ms. Dapaah’s assets out of time. Additionally, the court deemed the OSP’s justification for the seizure and freezing to be unsubstantiated.
“The application is based on public sentiments and not based on any justifiable legal basis,” Justice Twum declared, emphasizing the need for due process and adherence to the law. The court’s order demands the immediate return of all seized cash and the unfreezing of Ms. Dapaah’s bank accounts within the next 72 hours.
This dramatic development is bound to have significant repercussions. While it does not exonerate Ms. Dapaah from further investigation, it raises concerns about the OSP’s handling of the case and casts doubt on the strength of its initial suspicion. Furthermore, the swiftness of the court’s decision signals a potential lack of concrete evidence, raising questions about the legitimacy of the entire case against Ms. Dapaah.
It is also worth noting that separate criminal proceedings against individuals accused of stealing money from Ms. Dapaah’s residence are still ongoing. These proceedings could potentially shed light on the source of the seized funds and offer further clarity to the overall situation.
The coming days and weeks are likely to witness a flurry of activity as both the OSP and Ms. Dapaah’s legal team dissect the court’s ruling and consider their next steps. Ghanaians will be watching closely as this complex saga unfolds, with implications for both Ms. Dapaah’s personal reputation and the country’s fight against corruption.
This is a developing story, and further updates will be provided as they become available.
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