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OSP cleared Cecilia Dapaah of corruption after investigations, not AG’s office – Godfred Dame

Godfred Dame

The Attorney General, Godfred Dame clarified that his office did not absolve former Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah of corruption allegations. This is despite the fact that the Attorney General advised EOCO against conducting money laundering investigations into the affairs of the former minister.

According to Mr Dame, after conducting months of investigations, the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) did not find any suspicions of corruption. Speaking on Newsfile, on Saturday, Mr Dame said that in the Special Prosecutor’s letter, announcing a discontinuation of Madam Dapaah’s case, the OSP categorically stated that no evidence of corruption was found in the frozen bank accounts or assets linked to the former Sanitation Minister and her associates.

“So this clearly settles the issue. So far as funds located in Madam Cecilia Dapaah’s house were concerned, so far as the sums seized were concerned, there was clearly no direct or immediate evidence of corruption. And that is not me stating this, this is the OSP himself clearing Madam Cecelia Dapaah,” the Attorney General said.

He added that “the record must reflect the point that the OSP, with the mandate to investigate corruption and corruption-related offences, after conducting an elaborate inquiry cleared Madam Cecilia Dapaah of corruption.

“So why is he now trying to suggest that the AG has cleared anyone of corruption? EOCO never investigated for corruption, the AG has never investigated for corruption, it is the OSP itself.”

This comes after Ghanaians and CSOs expressed concerns after the Attorney General and Minister of Justice advised the EOCO against initiating money laundering investigations into the dealings of former Sanitation Minister, Cecilia Dapaah.

According to the Attorney General’s office, the docket presented to EOCO only contained the OSP’s letter transmitting the docket, the diary of action, statements taken during the investigation, and letters written by the OSP to other institutions like the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and banks for inquiries.

The Attorney General concluded that the request by the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to EOCO for money laundering investigations into Cecilia Dapaah’s affairs lacked merit. The Attorney General’s office emphasised that the key to pursuing money laundering investigations is the capacity to prove that financial gains were obtained from criminal proceeds arising from unlawful activity.

However, the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) Ghana expressed dismay stating “once again, a high profile case of suspected or alleged criminal conduct implicating a politically influential person has been terminated abruptly without proper credible resolution or closure.”

“It is not clear in what way the forced termination of further investigation into this matter by the AG serves either the public interest or helps the reputation of the target of the investigation.”

However, the Attorney General insisted that the scope within which the Special Prosecutor invited the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) to initiate a money laundering case against Madaam Dapaah, was very limited.

According to Mr Dame, the investigation into the alleged stolen money case of Madam Dapaah was restricted to purported fund transfers from the United States. “The public must understand clearly that the OSP only gave a narrow remit to EOCO to investigate for money laundering in respect of the funds that were allegedly transferred into the country.”

Source: Nasiba Yakubu

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