The Office of Special Prosecutor’s request to have Cecilia Abena Dapaah’s assets and bank accounts frozen was denied by the High Court in Accra.
Cecilia Dapaah was a former minister of sanitation and water resources.
The Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 Act 959 was violated by the Office of the Special Prosecutor by filing the application after the deadline, the court presided over by Justice Edward Twum ruled today (Aug. 31, 2023).
Additionally, the OSP failed to persuade the court that the allegedly tainted properties were utilised in connection with a crime since, in the opinion of the court, it was unclear who really owned the alleged tainted property discovered in Cecilia Dapaah’s home.
“If he (OSP) is unsure as to ownership, how did he reach the conclusion that the property is tainted?” the presiding judge queried.
“Ownership and possession are not the same,” Justice Twum added saying the application was premature as the OSP failed to establish the reasonableness of the suspicion.
It added that there was no justifiable basis for the OSP to exercise the power of seizure under Act 959.
The court has, therefore, ordered the OSP to return the confiscated assets to the former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources within seven days from today (Aug 31).
“The application is based on public sentiments and not based on any justifiable legal basis,” Justice Twum said.