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OSP referral of Cecilia Dapaah's case to EOCO was nonsense — Lawyer

Kofi Opare Hagan, a UK-based legal practitioner, has criticized the Special Prosecutor Kissi Agyebeng for referring the Cecilia Dapaah case to the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO).

Cecilia Dapaah's and OSP

Hagan argued that suggesting the funds were tainted is incorrect and deems the entire referral nonsensical.

This has sparked a public dispute between EOCO and the OSP regarding the case referral and investigations, with EOCO denying allegations of reluctance to investigate Cecilia Dapaah.

The OSP dismissed claims that it cleared Cecilia Dapaah of corruption.

The OSP said it did not clear the former Minister before transferring her case to EOCO.

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The Director for Strategy, Research, and Communications at the OSP, Samuel Appiah Darko, clarified that his office did not clear Cecilia Dapaah of corruption-related offences.

He explained that the OSP closed its investigation after the investigations showed the offence was largely in the province of money laundering.

In response to the situation, the lawyer based in the UK contended that the referral was legally flawed and lacked sense.

Read the lawyer’s full post below:

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By referring Cecelia Dapaah to EOCO for money laundering investigations, the OSP implicitly suggested that the funds recovered from Dapaah were tainted.

Under Section 79 of the OSP Act, property, including money, is considered tainted if it has been (a) used in connection with the commission of an offence or (b) derived, obtained, or realized as a result of the commission of a corruption or corruption-related offence.

If the OSP genuinely believed that Cecelia Dapaah was involved in money laundering, then, without needing to refer to EOCO, he would have had jurisdiction to seize that money under Section 32 of the OSP Act on the basis that the money was tainted property.

Given that money laundering is a crime, any ‘laundered’ money would have been ‘used in connection with the commission of an offence’, and thus would have become tainted property.

The definition of tainted property includes both property obtained from specified corruption and corruption-related offences, as well as property used in the commission of ‘an offence’. This refers to any other offence incidental to the commission of a corruption or corruption-related offence, such as money laundering. The drafters of the law deliberately used ‘offence’ in relation to the first part of the definition of tainted property and then used the more specific term ‘corruption and corruption-related offence’ in relation to the second part.

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Therefore, the entire referral was nonsensical to begin with.

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