- Investigators from the Office of the Special Prosecutor have uncovered even more cash from the residence of former sanitation minister Cecilia Dapaah
- The foreign cash amounts found included $590,000, while local currencies found reached GH¢2,730,000 in cash
- These revelations confirm reports last month that even more money stashed at the residence of the former minister was retrieved
- Private legal practitioner Justice Srem-Sai has told YEN.com.gh in an exclusive interview that per the law, the former minister faces bigger legal questions
The cash amounts that investigators from the Office of the Special Prosecutor have found at the Abelemkpe residence of former sanitation minister, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, have been disclosed.
Reports that YEN.com.gh has been monitoring show that a cash amount of $590,000 was found, while local currencies found reached GH¢2,730,000.
According to a report by Joy News, the Office of the Special Prosecutor has since seized the huge cash amounts as part of ongoing investigations into the case.
Earlier reports about more cash found at ex-minister’s home true
The latest revelations confirm reports in late July 2023 that even more money stashed at the residence of the former minister was retrieved by investigators.
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The earlier report had said it took investigators about five hours to count the cash stashed at the embattled minister's home.
That was branded inaccurate after a statement by the Special Prosecutor that failed to deny or confirm the report that more cash was found at Cecilia Dapaah's residence.
Cecilia Dapaah faces serious legal questions
Speaking exclusively to YEN.com.gh, private legal practitioner Justice Srem-Sai explained that the minister faces tough questions bordering on the laws that regulate the payment, possession, receipt or movement of foreign currency.
"For example, a series of Bank of Ghana Notices from 2012, through 2019 to as recently as 2022, prohibits the keeping or use of foreign currencies without a licence. These Notices are laws breach of which will incur criminal consequences.
"They are made under the Foreign Exchange Act, 2006 (Act 723). So, the first question that comes up is whether the minister has a licence to deal in such amount of monies. Generally, such licences are not even available to individuals. Even banks are hardly allowed to keep such amounts of foreign monies in their vaults," he explained.
But is not the only headache for the embattled former sanitation minister, according to Srem-Sai.
"The former minister is faced with an even bigger question: how did she come by those monies? Some explanations have been given already. The OSP will use its investigative tools to confirm the validity of those explanations. The thing about money is that it leaves traces behind. So, the OSP can verify the sources of the monies and if they are from corruption or embezzlement, then, obviously, one would expect the law to take its course," he told YEN.com.gh.
Serious governance issues that Cecilia Dapaah's case brings up
Justice Srem-Sai also told YEN.com.gh that perhaps the biggest issues that the Cecilia Dapaah scandal brings out borders on governance.
He said from the facts emerging from the court, it is clear that the huge cash amounts were kept in the minister’s home at least from mid-2022.
"That was about the same time that the BoG [Bank of Ghana] was hard on the use of foreign currency. particularly the dollar. In fact, the last Notice by BoG to warn the public of the crime of unauthorised use of foreign currencies was issued in April 2022.
"That was the height of the Cedi-dollar depreciation. To think that someone as high as a minister in the government is at the same time holding such huge amounts of dollars in her bedroom can only be the height of impunity, if not utterly unpatriotic," Srem-Sai was blunt.
Special Prosecutor freezes former minister’s bank accounts
Meanwhile, YEN.com.gh has reported in a separate story that former sanitation minister Cecilia Dapaah’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Special Prosecutor.
According to reports, there were millions of US dollars and cedis in the bank accounts of the former minister.
Dapaah is being investigated for corruption after her house helps stole large amounts of money from her. The domestic workers allegedly stole $1 million, €300,000 and millions of Ghana cedis all in cash.
OSP finds $5 million and over GH¢48 million in ex-minister’s accounts
Also, the Special Prosecutor found $5 million and almost GH¢50 million in former sanitation minister Cecilia Dapaah's accounts.
The former minister had accounts with Prudential Bank and Société Générale which contained the monies.
The Special Prosecutor earlier froze the bank accounts of Dapaah as part of the corruption probe into her wealth.
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