The decision by the court to deny the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) the authority to freeze the bank accounts of Cecilia Abena Dapaah, former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, has raised some eyebrows, as expressed by legal expert Martin Kpebu
Kpebu’s opinion is that while the refusal was somewhat surprising, it was not entirely unexpected, given the circumstances.
Kpebu believed that the judge might have overlooked certain procedural shortcomings in the OSP’s application when considering the freezing order. The Financial Division of the Accra High Court had recently issued an order directing the OSP to return Cecilia Abena Dapaah’s confiscated assets within a week.
The court’s rationale behind this directive was the absence of a justifiable basis for the initial asset seizure, which was deemed to have been carried out incorrectly by the OSP.
Furthermore, the court found insufficient grounds to warrant the freezing of the former Member of Parliament’s bank accounts, emphasizing that the OSP’s actions appeared to be based on speculation and a reaction to public sentiments rather than thorough investigations.
The OSP had sought the High Court’s confirmation to freeze Cecilia Abena Dapaah’s accounts at Prudential Bank and Societe Generale Ghana, citing legal provisions. According to the OSP, this action was necessary to facilitate ongoing investigations.
The OSP’s application stemmed from a search at Dapaah’s Abelemkpe residence, where substantial sums of money in both dollars and Ghanaian cedis were reportedly discovered. Despite this, the court rejected the entire application, a decision that Martin Kpebu found somewhat surprising in the context of asset seizure but in line with the lack of detailed information provided for the account freezing request.