The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has joined the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) in a synchronized effort aimed at delving deep into the matters of former Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah.
Their joint investigation will touch on assets and financial transactions tied to Ms. Dapaah within the US.
This was revealed in a statement by the Special Prosecutor indicating that his outfit “and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) @USEmbassyGhana have initiated concurrent inquiries into the activities of Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, and her associates.”
This cooperative crusade seeks to unravel the legality surrounding the wealth amassed by Ms. Dapaah and her cohorts, traversing the corridors of both Ghana and the United States.
“These investigations primarily focus on examining their assets and financial transactions within the United States of America,” the statement further read.
Earlier, the OSP had charged the embattled former Minister for failing to declare her income and property.
According to the statement of offence filed at the High Court on Friday, October 6, the OSP said Cecilia Dapaah failed to respond to a notice to declare her property served on Monday, July 24, within 30 days as stated in the OSP Act.
The OSP says this is a contravention of the OSP Act and she must be punished for it.
“Cecilia Abena Dapaah, 68 years, August 25, 2023, in Accra in the Greater Accra Region of the Republic of Ghana and within the jurisdiction of this Court, being a suspect under investigation for corruption and corruption-related offences including using public office for profit in respect of suspected tainted large cash sums reportedly stolen from your residential premises and also retrieved from same by the Office of the Special Prosecutor, without lawful excuse, failed, within 30 days, to comply with a notice to declare your property and income served on you by the Special Prosecutor on 24 July 2023 under regulation 20(1) per Forms 1A and 1B of the First Schedule of the Office of the Special Prosecutor (Operations) Regulations, 2018 (L.I. 2374) as specified in regulation 20(2) and Form 21 of the First Schedule of the Ofice of the Special Prosecutor (Operations) Regulations, 2018 (L.I. 2374).”
Meanwhile, lawyers for Cecilia Dapaah have also filed an injunction application against the OSP.
Per the court documents filed today, Tuesday, October 10, the lawyers say if the OSP is not retrained, the accused will suffer irreparable damage.
Former Sanitation Minister has strongly contested allegations made by the OSP regarding funds received from a bank account linked to her late brother.
In response to an affidavit filed by the OSP seeking confirmation of a new seizure of funds, Cecilia denied any implication that the monies and assets seized from her residence were of suspicious origin.
The OSP had informed the court that a bank account belonging to the late brother of the former minister was still active and had recently transmitted funds to her account, despite supposed inactivity.
Challenging this assertion, the former Minister clarified that the monies in question were transferred from an account specifically opened to collect funeral donations for her late brother, named ‘The Late Nana Akwasi Essan’, of which she is a signatory.
Additionally, she explained that the funds transferred to her bank account were intended for the payment of fees for her late brother’s children.
The former minister, through a sworn affidavit, emphasized a rather legitimate and non-suspicious nature of the transactions, refuting any allegations of financial impropriety.
In her affidavit, she explained that the said funds “were transferred from Cal Bank from an account in the name ‘The Late Nana Akwasi Essan’ to which I am a signatory adding that “this account was opened with funeral donations collected by Cal Bank at my late brothers funeral.”
“The correct account name is conspicuously stated in Applicant’s Exhibit OSP18 and the Applicant could easily have ascertained the mandate on the account from Cal Bank. The funds are transferred to me for payment of the school fees of my late brother’s children,” she added.