Special Prosecutor Transfers Investigation of Former Minister’s Financial Affairs to EOCO

The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) has officially handed over its investigation into the financial affairs and assets of former Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

In a statement released on Thursday, January 25, the OSP clarified the absence of direct evidence of corruption in the seized funds and frozen bank accounts linked to Ms. Dapaah and her associates. Emphasizing that prosecuting matters related to the investigation is beyond its mandate, the OSP stated that such responsibilities fall solely within the jurisdiction of EOCO.

The extensive seven-month investigation, conducted by the OSP alongside a parallel inquiry by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), identified strong indications of suspected money laundering and structuring. However, these suspected offenses do not fall directly within the OSP’s mandate, which focuses on corruption and corruption-related offenses.

“In compliance with section 3 of Act 959, which mandates the OSP to cooperate and coordinate with other law enforcement agencies, the case has been transferred to EOCO for further investigation,” stated the OSP in the released statement.

Consequently, the OSP withdrew the application to formalize the seizure and freezing of Cecilia Dapaah’s funds and bank accounts. Additionally, the office abandoned the criminal trial initiated against the former sanitation minister for non-declaration of assets.

This decision follows a series of in-chamber hearings on the matter, and for several months, the Special Prosecutor has held funds seized during the investigation of Cecilia Dapaah in its custody. The frozen bank accounts of Cecilia Dapaah were linked to alleged involvement in corruption and corruption-related activities. Despite the accusations, Cecilia Dapaah has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Various legal challenges, including an appeal at the Court of Appeal and a certiorari application on a decision to expedite the hearing time, initially hindered the process. Subsequently, the original judge took leave, leading to the appointment of a new judge for the case.

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