…Ghost name, payments from dead brother, others
The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has unveiled the secret name of the former Minister of Sanitation, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, which she has been using to engage in an “undisclosed” and “undeclared” real estate business, while serving as a minister of state.
According to the OSP, Madam Abena Dapaah, obscured and concealed transactions by employing the use of aliases to avoid detection, while “cleverly receiving the proceeds of the transactions in her bank accounts and investments”.
“In an instance, the first respondent sold a SSNIT Borteyman Estates Flat No. BT/OD/BLK2/2BR/1 under the name of Nana Yaa Ode,” the OSP captured in its fact sheet application for a freezing order of the former Sanitation Minister.
“The OSP’s criminal intelligence further suggested that the first respondent, as a Minister of State, was engaged in an undisclosed and undeclared real estate business in which she obscured and concealed the transactions by employing the use of aliases to avoid detection of the actual ownership of the business and properties, while cleverly receiving the proceeds of the transactions in her bank accounts and investments.”
The OSP’s document also revealed that “criminal intelligence suggested that the first respondent had unexplained large cash sums of money (far above her income as a Minister of State) secreted and stashed up in her residence; and that her house-helps had allegedly helped themselves to part of said sums of money through larceny.”
“Indeed, the first respondent appended her signature on all relevant correspondence with the buyer under the name of Nana Yaa Ode.
“Concerning the payment, first respondent, through her agent, gave the buyer her Prudential Bank Account Number 0090924640014.
“It was only at the point of payment at the bank that the agent of the first respondent revealed to the buyer that the true identity of Nana Yaa Ode was the first respondent, into whose account payment of the purchase price of One Hundred and Seventeen Thousand cedis (GH¢117,000.00 was to be made and was effected.”
Further disclosure proved that Cecilia Dapaah’s late brother, continued to make payments to her, despite having passed away in January, 2022.
“Strangely, there are active transfers from the deceased person’s bank account to that of the first respondent’s Prudential Bank account number 0090924640014.
“Analysis of the statements in the first respondent’s Prudential Bank account number 0090924640014 highly suspicious transactions involving the name of the first respondent’s deceased brother – Nana Akwasi Essan. The said Nana Akwasi Essan died in January 2022 and there is no record domiciled at the financial institutions of probate or letters of administration granted to personal representatives).
“As recently as 19 September 2022 and 23 May 2023, amounts of Ten Thousand Four Hundred and Fifty cedis (GH¢10,450.00) and Eleven Thousand Two Hundred and Eighty Thousand cedis (GH¢11,280.00) respectively were transferred, supposedly by the deceased brother to the first respondent.”
The OSP further disclosed that the ex-Minister has been unable to justify the legitimacy of the moniesdiscovered at her Abelemkpe residence recently.
“There are no financial records and traces of the origin(s) of the money reportedly stolen from the residence of the respondents and the money discovered by the OSP at said residence. Further, there is no evidence of the amounts of money having been derived from any legitimate businesses, profession or vocation, and no evidence of said amounts having been lawfully declared and subjected to any statutory payments.
“During the search conducted in her presence, the first respondent disavowed and claimed no knowledge of the presence of the said cash sums in the residence. The conduct of the first respondent, being a public officer, heightened the suspicion of the authorised officers of the OSP that the cash sums were tainted property.”
For instance, various amounts were found stashed in 32 different envelopes totalling GH¢132,007and she claimed it was her sitting allowances.
“A record of the various sums sealed in said envelopes range from Four Hundred cedis (GH¢400.00) to Thirty-Eight Thousand One Hundred and Sixty cedis (GH¢ 38,160.00), most of which far exceed the approved sums recommended for payment to public officials as sitting allowances – raising suspicion as to the legitimacy of their sources,” the OSP stated in its fact sheet on Tuesday, September 19.
Again Madam Dapaah’s husband had indicated that his niece remits money to him from the US for purposes of construction.
“However, the identified niece was unable to provide evidence of the source of the said amounts and evidence of lawful remittance of said sums to the second respondent,” OSP’s fact sheet noted.
“Whereupon she claimed to have personally and physically brought the said sums purportedly amounting to Two Hundred Thousand United States dollars (US$ 200,000.00) without lawful declaration.”
According to the OSP, the application to have Abena Dapaah’s accounts and property frozen must be granted.
“On this score, the applicant has demonstrated beyond satisfaction from the foregoing that the first respondent, whose bank accounts and investments are under a freezing order, is being investigated for corruption and corruption-related offences including using public office for profit as deposed to in paragraph 6 above and that the frozen property is liable to be confiscated should it be subsequently established as tainted property.”
The OSP further revealed that, there are several suspicious transactions running through the bank accounts and investments of Madam Abena Dapaah “and other transactions which cannot be attributed to her lawful income and her declared or disclosed sources of income at all material times in her position as a public officer”.