The Accra High Court’s Financial Division on Thursday denied the Office of the Special Prosecutor’s request to freeze the bank accounts of former Sanitation Minister Cecilia Abena Dapaah, and the OSP has voiced disapproval of the ruling.
“While the OSP respects the Court’s decision, it disagrees with the decision of the Court,” a press release on Thursday, August 31 stressed.
The OSP provided three fundamental justifications for their choice.
“First, the OSP believes that the Court’s computation of the time limitation is, with respect, erroneous,” it said, citing how operatives of the Office searched three private residences of Madam Abena Dapaah over a two-week period.
“Second, the seizure by the OSP and the Special Prosecutor’s freezing order were 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 her residence, the amounts discovered by the OSP in her residence, and the volume of transactions in her bank accounts and investments.
“Third, the freezing order was not based on public sentiments,” it insisted, “rather, it was based on court processes filed in a criminal matter before the Circuit Court, Accra involving Ms Dapaah as the complainant.”
The OSP clarified that the further account freeze was done “not on the basis of the investigation, as indicated by the Court,” but rather to assist investigations as required by law.
“Therefore, it cannot be said that the OSP did not carry out proper investigations to warrant the freezing order.”
This comes after the High Court denied the OSP’s request and mandated that it restore all of the former minister of state’s confiscated property within seven days.
The Court asserts that the OSP’s conduct was motivated by rumors and a desire to appease the public, which led to hasty followup investigations.
It claimed there was no legal basis for the property’s seizure since the OSP had carried out the act incorrectly.
The Court further determined that the OSP lacked justification to freeze the former Bantama Member of Parliament’s (MP) bank accounts.