The Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), has expressed her displeasure with the court’s order to the Office of the Special Prosecutor to return monies seized from the embattled former Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah to her.
Mary Addah says these turn of events prove that fighting corruption in Ghana is a lonely endeavour.
She says state institutions must support the fight against corruption in all circumstances.
Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile programme on Saturday, September 2, she indicated that the decision was not in the best interest of the country.
“This is one of the instances where it is difficult to comprehend what exactly is going on. The Office of the Special Prosecutor is one that will help this country if we want to fight corruption, and we continue to support them to carry out their investigations and prosecutions of corruption and corruption-related offenses, and what this judgement brings to bear is that fighting corruption continues to remain a very lonely endeavor,” she told host, Samson Lardy.
The Financial and Economic Division of an Accra High Court on Thursday, August 31, ordered the Office of the Special Prosecutor to return all monies seized from the embattled former Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah.
The Court ordered that this ruling be complied with within seven days. The Court also said it cannot confirm the freezing of her bank accounts and other properties.
But in response to the Court’s order, the OSP in a statement said it respects the directive but disagrees with it because it is erroneous.
“While the OSP respects the Court’s decision, it disagrees with the decision of the Court. First, the OSP believes that the Court’s computation of the time limitation is, with respect, erroneous.”
“The OSP searched three (3) private residences associated with Ms. Dapaah over the course of two (2) weeks. The searches and discovery were ongoing during that period. There is little doubt that the OSP filed its application within the statutory window once the search and discovery window is considered.”
The OSP further clarified that its decision to freeze the accounts was not based on public sentiments as it is purported.
“The freezing order was not based on public sentiments. Rather, it was based on court processes filed in a criminal matter before the Circuit Court, Accra involving Ms. Dapaah as the complainant. Further, the freezing order was effected to aid the investigation, as required by law, not on the basis of the investigation, as indicated by the Court. Therefore, it cannot be said that the OSP did not carry out proper investigations to warrant the freezing order. The investigation has only commenced, and it is ongoing.”
The OSP is investigating Madam Dapaah for corruption and corruption-related offences following the revelation that she was keeping more than $1 million in her house.
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