Private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has said that the refusal of the court to grant the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) the power to freeze the bank accounts of former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah was a bit surprising but not too much.
Kpebu said he thought the judge would have ignored the procedural lapses in the OSP application to grant the order to freeze the accounts.
The Financial Division of the Accra High Court had ordered the OSP to return the seized property of Cecilia Abena Dapaah within seven days.
The Court says there was no justifiable basis for the seizure of the property as the OSP entered the act wrongly. The Court also found the OSP as having no reasonable grounds to freeze the bank accounts of the former Bantama Member of Parliament (MP).
It said the action by the OSP was borne out of speculation and reaction to public sentiments, thus undertaking poor investigations subsequently. The ruling was given on Thursday, August 31.
The OSP had sought confirmation from the High Court to freeze accounts of Madam Abena Dapaah at Prudential Bank and Societe Generale Ghana in accordance with section 38(1) of Act 959 and regulation 19(1) of LI2374. The confirmation was required, according to the OSP, to facilitate investigations.’ It had indicated in its motion that a search at the Abelemkpe residence of the former Sanitation Minister found $590,000 and GH¢2.73 million in the house.
It, then, put her under house arrest, believing that there was reasonable grounds to suspect her of corruption and corruption-related activities. But the entire application has been rejected by the court.
Asked whether he was surprised by the ruling of the court while speaking on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 on Thursday, August 31, Mr Martin Kpebu said “A bit surprising but not too much. I expected that between the two applications, on the seizure that is the 590,000 and the 2.7 million that was found in Madam Dapaah’s house, I expected the judge to be able to scale the procedural lapses of the OSP and to confirm the seizure so that those assets would remain seized while investigations go on.
“As for the freezing of the account, the judge is spot on, the OSP didn’t expect to get the order when the details of the account have not been provided, how much was involved.
“Those are the accounts one is said to have transaction volumes up to 5 million Dollars and the other one has transaction volumes up to 48 million Cedis. What was Mr Kissi Agyebeng thinking that the judge should grant him an order on the accounts when he has not given the details? How?
“That is the crown jewel of the case, the most crucial evidence that we have heard is that there are transaction volumes of up to 5 million Dollars in one account and transaction volumes of up to 48 million Ghana Cedis.”