Cecilia Dapaah Reveals: Funds Transferred In Late Brother’s Name Were For His Children’s School Fees, Not Illicit Gains
Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, has contested allegations from the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) that she received funds in a bank account belonging to her deceased brother.
Following a court order to return assets and money confiscated from Dapaah over suspicions of corruption and related offenses, the OSP re-seized the assets and sought court confirmation for the new seizure.
In response to the OSP’s application, Cecilia Dapaah strongly denied that the seized assets were acquired through illicit means. The OSP had claimed that funds were sent from her late brother’s still-active bank account to her, despite it being expected to be inactive.
Dapaah clarified that the money transferred originated from an account created to collect funeral donations for her late brother, appropriately named “The Late Nana Akwasi Essan,” of which she was a signatory. She further explained that these funds were intended for the school fees of her late brother’s children.
In her affidavit, she stated, “The 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.”
On September 11, the OSP filed a second motion to investigate the funds, suspected to be illicitly obtained.
On July 24, 2023, the OSP confiscated $590,000.00 and 2,862,007 Ghana cedis from Cecilia Dapaah’s residence following a news report in the Chronicle newspaper about individuals allegedly stealing $1,000,000.00 from her home.
On August 31, 2023, an Accra High Court, led by Justice Edward Twum, rejected the OSP’s initial attempt to confirm the seizure of Dapaah’s funds and the freezing of her bank accounts on suspicions of them being tainted assets.
In compliance with the court’s order to return Dapaah’s properties within seven days, the OSP announced on September 5, 2023, that it had complied but subsequently re-seized the properties to facilitate ongoing investigations, citing reasonable grounds that the cash remained suspected to be tainted.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor also claimed that the second seizure aimed to prevent loss, concealment, or dissipation pending the completion of the ongoing investigation.
The OSP’s application was initially scheduled for a High Court hearing on Wednesday, October 18, 2023. However, Victoria Barth, Ms. Dapaah’s lawyer, filed an application to expedite the hearing, which is now expected to take place on Wednesday, October 11, 2023.