The Accra High Court has set August 31, 2023, to rule on the application to confirm the Office of the Special Prosecutor’s order of freezing and seizure of suspected property of former Sanitation Minister Cecilia Dapaah.
Lawyer for the OSP, Dr. Isidore Tuffuor, told the court that following suspected acts of corruption against Madam Dapaah, a search was conducted at her residence, which discovered huge sums of money stashed in the house.
The lawyer told the court that $590,000 and another two point seven three zero million Ghana cedis were found at the residence.
He also revealed that the ownership of those funds remains in dispute, even though they were found in the possession of the former Sanitation Minister.
He told the court that the source of the funds also remains in doubt.
It was for this reason that the OSP seized and froze those properties pending investigations.
He said the seizure was made under Section 32(1) of the OSP Act on the ground that the said monies are suspected to be tainted and therefore it is necessary to exercise the power of seizure to prevent any concealment.
The OSP also came under Section 38 to urge the High Court to confirm the freezing of Madam Dapaah’s bank accounts.
The lawyer argued that the decision by the OSP was justified under the said provision.
He added that the provisions give power to the Special Prosecutor to freeze any property necessary to facilitate investigations.
On her part, the lawyer for Madam Dapaah, Victoria Barth, opposed the application.
It was her case that the application contravenes the very provisions the OSP is relying on in invoking the Court’s jurisdiction. She contended that the application was late.
She went on to say that confirmation of the seizure of suspected tainted property must be done within seven days.
She said it is a mandatory requirement that must be satisfied to properly invoke the court’s jurisdiction.
She submitted that the application is rife with misrepresentations of facts.
She referred to their affidavit in opposition, which details the calibre and work history of Madam Dapaah and her husband and, she claims, shows that the application was brought in total breach of the OSP’s own enabling law.
She said that the application to confirm the seizure and freezing of suspected tainted property of Madam Dapaah is an arbitrary exercise of powers by the Special Prosecutor based on suspicion arising from misrepresented facts and media frenzy, and accordingly urged the court to dismiss it.