Cecilia Dapaah


Former United Nations Senior Governance Advisor, Professor Baffour Agyemang-Duah, has described the former Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah’s case as a tragedy for government and the nation.

Two house helps – Patience Botwe and Sarah Agyei working for Cecilia Abena Dapaah and her husband, Daniel Osei Kuffour – are facing charges for allegedly stealing $ 1 million, €300,000, and millions of cedis aside from bags and pieces of jewellery

On JoyNews’ PM Express on Wednesday, Professor Agyemang-Duah explained that having such an amount of money in the midst of a dwindling economy and people being hard-pressed does not speak well.

He added that “only the good Lord knows how much more you have and how much more your own colleagues may have.”

According to him, having such an amount of money as a public official raises all kinds of questions.

“I think it is a tragedy for her as a person, a tragedy for the government and nation,” he said.

He added, “Even if the money is hers legitimately, the fact that she would keep such an amount in the house in itself is repugnant for a public official.”

He believes it is time for the Code of Conduct of Public Officers bill to be passed, noting that successive governments are unable to pass for it to check some of these excesses because of the fear of accountability to the people.

Again, during the Office of the Special Prosecutor’s search of the minister’s residences in light of the substantial amounts that have been reported missing, it has been revealed that a cash amount of $590,000 was discovered during the search at the Abelemkpe home.

At the same residence, a sum of ¢2,730,000 in cash was found.

Officials from the Office of the Special Prosecutor subsequently seized these cash sums to aid ongoing investigations.

Details of the amounts found in some of her accounts were also included in the documents intercepted by JoyNews after the former minister’s account was frozen.

The OSP has also revealed that it found $5 million, ¢48 million found in Cecilia Dapaah’s Prudential Bank accounts.

Also, it found ¢1 million cedis in investments and ¢700,00 in cash in her Societe General account.

Meanwhile, an Accra High Court has set Thursday, August 17, to rule on the confirmation or otherwise of the freezing of these bank accounts.

Background

Two house helps working for Cecilia Abena Dapaah and her husband, Daniel Osei Kuffour are facing charges for allegedly stealing monies and items worth millions of cedis from the couple’s residence at Abelemkpe in Accra.

The accused individuals, 18-year-old Patience Botwe and 30-year-old Sarah Agyei have been charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and five counts of stealing.

The alleged thefts occurred between July and October 2022.

During this period, the house helps allegedly stole personal effects belonging to Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah, including assorted clothes valued at ¢95,000, handbags, perfumes, and jewellery worth $95,000.

Additionally, Ms Botwe is accused of stealing six pieces of Kente cloth worth ¢90,000 and six sets of men’s suits valued at $3,000, which belong to the minister’s husband.

Furthermore, three other individuals, identified as Ms Botwe’s current and former boyfriends and her father, are also facing charges for allegedly being involved in the crime. They have been respectively charged with dishonestly receiving ¢1 million, ¢180,000, and ¢50,000.

According to court proceedings, the stolen monies and items belonged to Madam Cecilia Abena Dapaah and her husband, taken from their bedroom in their residence.

The accused individuals were arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Susana Ekuful, on Thursday, July 20, 2023. However, their pleas have not been taken yet.

The court granted bail to Sarah Agyei in the sum of ¢1 million with two sureties. The sureties are required to deposit their Ghana cards with the court’s registrar.

The bail conditions are subject to review by the substantive judge, as Susana Ekuful was serving as a relief judge.

On the other hand, Ms Botwe, along with her alleged boyfriends and father, have been remanded into lawful custody.

The complainants reported the theft case to the police in June 2023 after discovering the missing cash and personal effects.

Ms Botwe was caught red-handed entering the couple’s room with a duplicate key, leading to her arrest.

Further investigations revealed that Patience, with the help of her alleged accomplice Sarah, had hidden the stolen money and used it to purchase properties and expensive items.

This information got Ghanaians talking with many asking CHRAJ, the OSP and the Ghana Police Service to investigate the source of the money.

Subsequently, the Special Prosecutor announced that his office was investigating the matter, starting with the arrest of Madam Cecilia Dapaah.

It recently froze the former minister’s account of which $5 million, ¢48 million was found in Cecilia Dapaah’s Prudential Bank accounts.

Also, it found ¢1 million cedis in investments and ¢700,00 in cash in her Societe General account.

Meanwhile, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has appointed the Minister of State at the Presidency and Member of Parliament for Tano North, Freda Prempeh, to take over as Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources since the resignation of Madam Cecilia Dapaah from office.