Story: A News Desk Report
The Office of the Special Prosecutor has disagreed with the high court’s refusal to grant the application for the seizure and freezing orders of Cecilia Dapaah’s assets.
The high court had refused to grant the application on the grounds that the confirmation of seizure application was filed out of time; and 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 Financial and Economic Division of the Accra High Court thus ordered the Office of the Special Prosecutor to return all monies seized from the embattled former Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah.
The Court ordered 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.
According to a statement issued by the OSP, the court’s conclusion was erroneous and that the office, while respecting the decision, disagrees with same.
Explaining his disagreement, he said, “First, the OSP believes that the court’s computation of the time limitation is, with respect, erroneous. The OSP searched three (3) private residences associated with Ms. Dapaah over the course of two (2) weeks. The searches and discovery were ongoing during that period. There is little doubt that the OSP filed its application within the statutory window once the search and discovery window is considered.”
“Second, the seizure by the OSP and the Special Prosecutor’s freezing order was effectuated on the very firm basis of reasonable suspicion that the amounts and bank balances were tainted property as Ms. Dapaah prevaricated as to the source(s) of the amounts she reported stolen from the her residence, the amounts discovered by the OSP in her residence, and the volume of transactions in her bank accounts and investments.”
The OSP refuted the court’s claim that the actions of the office were triggered by public sentiments.
“Third, the freezing order was not based on public sentiments. Rather, it was based on court processes filed in a criminal matter before the Circuit court, Accra involving Ms. Dapaah as the complainant.”
He stressed that the freezing order was effected to aid the investigation, as required by law, not on the basis of the investigation, as indicated by the court.
“Therefore it cannot be said that the OSP did not carry out proper investigations to warrant the freezing order. The investigation has only commenced and it is ongoing,” he said.
He assured the general public that he 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, lost, or otherwise dissipated.”