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    Cecilia Dapaah: Your computation of time limitation is erroneous – OSP tells Court

    The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has expressed its disagreement with the high court’s decision to reject the application for the seizure and freezing of Cecilia Dapaah’s assets.

    The high court’s refusal was based on several grounds, including that the confirmation of the seizure application was submitted beyond the stipulated time frame. Additionally, the court found fault with the OSP’s failure to disclose transaction details related to the accounts in question. Furthermore, the court deemed the freezing order as being motivated by public sentiment rather than a result of proper investigations.

    As a result, the Financial and Economic Division of the Accra High Court has instructed the Office of the Special Prosecutor to return all seized funds from the former Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah.

    The court has provided a seven-day deadline for compliance with this ruling and has refrained from confirming the freezing of her bank accounts and other properties.

    In response to this decision, the OSP has issued a statement acknowledging its respect for the court’s ruling but asserting its disagreement with the court’s conclusions.

    Explaining his disagreement, he said, “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.”

    “Second, the seizure by the OSP and the Special Prosecutor’s freezing order was effectuated on the very firm basis of reasonable suspicion that the amounts and bank balances were tainted property as Ms. Dapaah prevaricated as to the source(s) of the amounts she reported stolen from the her residence, the amounts discovered by the OSP in her residence, and the volume of transactions in her bank accounts and investments.”

    The OSP refuted the court’s claim that the actions of the office were triggered by public sentiments.

    “Third, 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.”

    He stressed that 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,” he said.

    He assured the general public that he will take “all necessary legal steps to ensure that the seized amounts and the balances in Ms. Dapaah’s accounts and investments are neither concealed, lost, or otherwise dissipated.”

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