The High Court in Accra has dismissed the Office of Special Prosecutor’s application seeking to continue freezing the bank accounts and assets of former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah.
In a ruling today (Aug 31, 2023), the court presided over by Justice Edward Twum, held that the Office of the Special Prosecutor breached the Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 Act 959 when he filed the application out of time.
Aside from that, it was the considered view of the court that the OSP was in doubt of the true ownership of the alleged tainted property found in Cecilia Dapaah’s house and hence failed to convince the court that the alleged tainted properties were used in connection with a crime.
“If he (OSP) is unsure as to ownership, how did he reach the conclusion that the property is tainted?” the presiding judge queried.
“Ownership and possession are not the same,” Justice Twum added saying the application was premature as the OSP failed to establish the reasonableness of the suspicion.
It added that there was no justifiable basis for the OSP to exercise the power of seizure under Act 959.
The court has, therefore, ordered the OSP to return the confiscated assets to the former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources within seven days from today (Aug 31).
“The application is based on public sentiments and not based on any justifiable legal basis,” Justice Twum said.