Richard Ahiagbah, Executive Director of Danquah Institute
Richard Ahiagbah, Executive Director of Danquah Institute

The Communications Director of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), Richard Ahiagbah has advised the Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng to refrain from publishing statements that would tarnish the image of the former Minister of Sanitation, Cecilia Abena Dapaah.

According to him, the Special Prosecutor should concentrate on investigating the case and go ahead to prosecute the former minister if the office is able to establish any wrongdoing.

Speaking on JoyNews’ Newsfile on Saturday, September 2, Mr Ahiagbah said that although Ghanaians support the OSP’s work, he is against publications of the Special Prosecutor’s work in the media.

“As a citizen, we are not interested in all these discoveries or scoops that come out. He should go ahead and do the investigation.

“What we are interested in or should be interested in as citizens is to say that he has resolved or preempted a corruption case by recovering money for the state,” he stressed.  

Mr Ahiagbah noted that part of the responsibilities of the Special Prosecutor is to help generate revenue for the country, by recovering money that rightfully belongs to the state.

He suggested that Kissi Agyebeng should focus less on media publicity and prioritise the investigative process.

The NPP Communications Director emphasised that the recent order from the High Court for the OSP to release assets belonging to the former Sanitation Minister does not hinder the ongoing investigation.

“So with me right now, even on the court ruling to have him take his hands off the account and money, it does not in any way impede the Special Prosecutor from proceeding with the investigation because that is what you can control,” Mr Ahiagbah argued.

He urged the Special Prosecutor to expedite the investigation process, establish the facts if possible, and receive commendation for his efforts in preventing the abuse of state resources.

Background

The Financial and Economic Division of an Accra High Court on Thursday, August 31, ordered the Office of the Special Prosecutor to return all monies seized from the embattled former Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah.

The Court ordered that this ruling be complied with within seven days. The Court also said it cannot confirm the freezing of her bank accounts and other properties. But in response to the Court’s order, the OSP in a statement said it respects the directive but disagrees with it because it is erroneous.

“While the OSP respects the Court’s decision, it disagrees with the decision of the Court. First, the OSP believes that the Court’s computation of the time limitation is, with respect, erroneous.”

“The OSP searched three (3) private residences associated with Ms. Dapaah over the course of two (2) weeks. The searches and discovery were ongoing during that period. There is little doubt that the OSP filed its application within the statutory window once the search and discovery window is considered.”

The OSP further clarified that its decision to freeze the accounts was not based on public sentiments as it is purported.

“The freezing order was not based on public sentiments. Rather, it was based on court processes filed in a criminal matter before the Circuit Court, Accra involving Ms. Dapaah as the complainant. Further, the freezing order was effected to aid the investigation, as required by law, not on the basis of the investigation, as indicated by the Court. Therefore, it cannot be said that the OSP did not carry out proper investigations to warrant the freezing order. The investigation has only commenced, and it is ongoing.”

The OSP is investigating Madam Dapaah for corruption and corruption-related offences following the revelation that she was keeping more than $1 million in her house.