The case was handled by Justice Edward Twum who has ordered the OSP to release the cash seized from the residence of the former Minister.
The OSP complied and released the seized money. But on the same day the seized the money was released, the OSP issued a new freezing order. Prosecutors then filed fresh court processes asking the High Court to confirm this new seizure and freeze order. This case was to be originally heard on October 18 but Madam Dapaah urged the court to have an expedited hearing explaining she was being subjected to embarrassment and hardship. This request was granted by Justice Twum as he adjourned proceedings to October 12.
It is not clear as to why the OSP has petitioned the Chief Justice for a new judge for the case. However, reports indicate that it was based on the decision of the judge not to approve the freeze application by the OSP. Also, reports indicate that it could be on the grounds of the approval of the application of the respondents for the case to be expedited.
Notwithstanding, it is obvious the OSP is uncomfortable with the way Justice Edward Twum has handled the case so far, hence the OSP’s petition.
Justice Edward Twum announced in court on October 12 that he had received a letter indicating that the OSP wanted a new judge to handle the case.
Meanwhile, the lawyers of the respondent, Madam Cecilia Dapaah, and her husband have expressed their displeasure. According to them, the OSP sought to only delay the process.
Furthermore, the lawyers, Counsel Victoria Barth tagged the request as ill-fated and an obvious attempt to only frustrate their client.
“We see it as a deliberate ploy to frustrate this morning’s hearing and a desperate attempt to avoid his ill-fated application and there shall be a day of reckoning. He says he’s the conscience of the nation, he should be above this.”
In addition, the former Minister for Sanitation has been charged with failing to comply with the lawful demand of an authorized office.
According to her lead counsel, they were very disappointed in the fact that they had not even been served.
“This charge sheet, save from being casually handed to the accused persons by persons suspected to be from the OSP, was not properly served. Didn’t have summons or a return date.“Victoria Barth
Reports indicate that the OSP did not show up in court today, October 12, 2023.
High Court To Expedite Dapaah’s Hearing
This follows a judgment of the High Court by Justice Edward Twum on October 11, 2023, to expedite the hearing of the case. Despite opposition to the respondent’s application seeking for the case to be expedited which was strongly opposed by the OSP, the court rescheduled a hearing scheduled for October 18 to October 12.
The Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) filed an application seeking permission to re-seize money found at the residence of Cecilia Dapaah and her husband and re-freeze her bank accounts.
Ms Dapaah subsequently filed an application pleading with the court to expedite the hearing of the case.
The lawyers of Cecilia Dapaah, led by Victoria Barth, argued that the application to expedite the hearing of the case is based on the fact that the delay in hearing the matter is ‘causing undue hardships to the respondents’. They also argued that the application for confirmation is a repeat application hence the Office of the Special Prosecutor will not be “prejudiced by the granting of their application to abridge time.”
The OSP opposed the application, arguing that Cecilia Dapaah and her husband were seeking to prevent them from “responding to their affidavit in opposition to the substantive application for confirmation of freezing and seizure orders.”