Professor Hamza Adam, a member of parliament for Kumbungu, has demanded an investigation into the millions of Dollars and Euros stored at the residence of Cecilia Dapaah, the Minister responsible for Sanitation.
According to Prof. Adam, it is illegal to obtain a particular amount of money in Ghana. Madam Cecilia Dapaah is alleged to have kept $1 million, €300,000, and untold millions of Ghana Cedis at home. Two house helpers are accused of stealing these funds, and they are presently on trial at an Accra Circuit Court.
On Friday, July 21, Prof. Adam discussed this in an interview with the press in parliament. He said, “First of all it is illegal to keep certain money, at home particularly foreign. So, an amount to the tune of millions will be shocking to the bone.”
In order to get to the bottom of the problem, he urged all important stakeholders to look into it. He claimed that the sum that is alleged to have been discovered at her home is extremely frightening, and if the country had this much cash, there would be no need to approach the IMF.
“That is also a wake-up call, which means we have to go down and investigate all ministers who are serving the country at the moment. What it simply means is that whereas everybody is dying that the stake is heating up and livelihoods are getting deteriorated, others are sitting in gold mines. I am appealing to the stakeholders who matter to do further investigation.
“I think it is important the minister, as a matter of urgency, relinquishes her position as the minister. The reason being that it may interfere with the investigation process, otherwise the President must compel her to resign.”Professor Hamza Adam
Former president John Dramani Mahama also criticized President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo harshly for not setting a good example for his appointees, after the incident came to light.
After learning about this, Mr. Mahama expressed his disapproval at such a move by a Minister of State on his official Twitter page on Friday, July 21. He described it as “scandalous”. “Even if genuinely acquired, why keep millions of hard currencies at home?” he wondered in his tweet.
Moreover, Franklin Cudjoe, the founder of Imani Africa, also questioned if Cecilia Dapaah’s house was a public bank in relation to her millions of dollars and euros.
In a tweet, he said “The High Court was told by the Minster, that “$1m, €300k and millions of cedis” was stolen by the house helps. The question is HOW MUCH IS THE “millions of cedis”? Is the house an open bank?”
Azeem Seeks Probe Into Incident
Vitus Azeem, a former Executive Director of the Ghana Integrity Initiative (GIl), also urged three important state agencies to become involved in the case of Cecilia Dapaah.
As stated by the anti-corruption activist, Vitus Azeem, the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP), the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) should be concerned about the situation.
He gave an explanation for why this is the case, saying that each of these institutions’ missions extend beyond the subject at hand.
According to the former Executive Director of GII, there are three things that come to mind when thinking about this topic at hand. He asserted that since the OSP has discussed doing a lifestyle audit, it is one of the organizations that should take action.
Second, he claimed that if the person is conducting business, some of the funds are gifts, or assets have been sold, GRA should look into it.
“The GRA will need to find out if they paid tax on these things. And number three is the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice. Since the minister is a public officer, she is supposed to have declared her assets.
“So, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice should call for the asset declaration of the minister to look at what was the last time this lady declared her assets. And did that declaration include these monies, and the other assets we are talking about? If not, then that gives a problem for her.”Vitus Azeem