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Money in my late brother’s account was to pay school fees – Cecilia Dapaah tells court

Local News

4 month(s) ago
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Former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah challenged a claim by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) that she is receiving funds a bank account belonging to her late brother.

The OSP having complied with a court ruling to return monies and assets seized from the former minister on grounds of suspected corruption and corruption related offences re-seized the said monies and sought a confirming of the new seizure from the court.

However, in a sworn affidavit responding to the OSP’s application, Madam Dapaah vehemently denied and challenged assertions that the monies and assets seized from her residence were tainted.

The OSP had told the court that the bank account of a late brother of the former minister is still active and that the said account recently sent money to the former minister even though it was supposed to be inactive.

But responding to the claim, Madam Dapaah asserted that the monies were transferred from an account which was opened to receive funeral donations for late brother and was rightly designated “The Late Nana Akwasi Essan” for which she is a signatory.

She also stated that the monies that were transferred from the account in question to her bank account was for the payment of fees for late brother’s children.

“That money was being transferred from my deceased brother's account into my account when the truth is that funds were transferred from Cal Bank from an account in the name "The Late Nana Akwasi Essan" to which I am a signatory. This account was opened with funeral donations collected by Cal Bank at my late brother's funeral.

“The correct account name is conspicuously stated in Applicant's Exhibit OSP18 and the Applicant could easily have ascertained the mandate on the account from Cal Bank. The funds are transferred to me for payment of the school fees of my late brother's children,” she stated in her affidavit.

Background

The OSP had, on September 11, filed the second motion in an attempt to have the monies, suspected to be tainted property, investigated.

On July 24, 2023, the OSP seized five hundred and ninety thousand United States dollars ($590,000.00) and two million eight hundred and sixty-two thousand and seven Ghana cedis from the residence of Madam Cecilia Dapaah following a news publication in the Chronicle newspaper that some persons had been arraigned for allegedly stealing $1,000,000.00 dollars from her home.

On August 31, 2023, an Accra High Court presided over by Justice Edward Twum dismissed the OSP’s first attempt to confirm the seizure of Madam Dapaah’s monies and the freezing of her bank accounts on grounds that the OSP suspected them to be tainted property.

In compliance with the court's order to return Madam Cecilia Dapaah's properties within seven (7) days, the OSP announced on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, that it had complied with the court's order but had subsequently re-seized Madam Cecilia Dapaah's properties to aid ongoing investigations, citing reasonable grounds that the cash sums remained suspected tainted property.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor also claimed that the second seizure was effected to prevent loss, concealment, or dissipation pending the completion of the ongoing investigation.

The OSP’s application was expected to be moved at the High Court on Wednesday, October 18, 2023. However, a lawyer for Ms. Dapaah, Victoria Barth, has filed an application for an abridgment of time for the application to be heard by the court earlier.

The application for an abridgment of time is expected to be heard on Wednesday, October 11, 2023.

source: Ghanaweb.com