Cecilia Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, has been accused by some Minority Caucus members for violating the law by keeping huge sums of cash in her home, which are said to have been taken by her house helps.
A Ghanaian Circuit Court has filed charges against the Minister’s two housekeepers for allegedly stealing money totaling $1 million, €300,000, and millions of Ghanaian Cedis in October of last year from her home in Abelenkpe, Accra.
Yussif Sulemana, a member of parliament for Bole Bamboi, stated that he anticipates President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to immediately fire the Minister while inquiries into the legitimacy of the funds are launched.
“I expect the President to fire her, if it’s true that she kept that huge sum of money in her house. The question is, where did she get the money? If indeed that money was legitimate, why did she put it in her house instead of the bank? If it is indeed established that this woman was keeping such sums of money, the first thing is for the President to sack her.
“That’s the only way we would know that the President is fighting corruption…The President must act and act immediately. The next stage is that any state institution interested in investigating her, could do so freely.”Yussif Sulemana
Rasheed Pelpuo, the NDC representative for the Kumbungu seat, also stated that it would be startling if it turned out that the Minister’s home was where the alleged funds were held.
“Every minister of state has the right to own properties, provided those properties are owned on the back of legitimacy. The issue surrounding Cecilia Dapaah is something that has come up as a shock, especially when everyone knows that the country is in a crisis.
“It will be surprising if indeed such monies were kept by her in her house. We have to establish the truth of the matter. We are expecting the proper legal action to be taken and investigation triggered to establish where she got the money from. I think it is illegal to keep such money in your house.”Rasheed Pelpuo
Meanwhile, three people who have ties to the two women are being held by police pending court appearances. Before Judge Susana Ekuful, who Presided in the Accra Circuit Court, all five defendants were arraigned.
Although their pleas have not yet been heard, one of the ladies has been granted bail in the amount of GH1,000,000 with two sureties. The sureties are required to leave their Ghana ID cards with the court’s registrar. As she was acting as a relief Judge, Her Honor, Susana Ekuful added that the bail condition is subject to reconsideration by the substantive judge.
Money Stolen Raises Eyebrows
According to CMaC co-chairman, Edem Senanu, the claim that large sums of money were stolen from the home of Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah “raises eyebrows.”
Considering that everyone is aware of the salaries of public officials and ministers, he asserted that the dollar amounts and its magnitude, establishes concerns. He added that no one expects millions of dollars and other currencies to just be readily available, so it certainly generates questions.
“There is also the prudence of anybody deciding to keep that kind of money at home. Nobody who is very cautious about security would want to keep that kind of money. And why would you want that kind of money, when it could be much more secure elsewhere? So, the prudence in that raises eyebrows.”Edem Senanu
Moreover, according to Mr. Senanu, the nation has not codified the AU Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Corruption’s article on illicit financial enrichment, which “cover issues like lifestyle audits where when something like this comes up, there is a suspicion that the sources of income could not justify the sums of monies being spoken about.”
He claimed that the aforementioned factors made, necessitates the need for further investigation and debate on the topic.