Accused persons in Cecilia Dapaah case unable to execute bail
Lawyers for those arrested in the money-stealing case of the former minister for sanitation and water resources, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, have bemoaned the inability of their clients to post their bail bond.
An Accra Circuit Court has granted bail to four out of the seven accused persons.
Mr Augustine Gyamfi who represented Sarah Agyei, the second accused in the case said, “it was not that they were not making any attempt to execute the bail granted by the court, but the interpretation of the bail condition was a challenge.”
He therefore prayed to the court for variation of bail.
The lawyers asked the court to vary the bail granted to their clients and repeated their bail application.
The court, presided over by Mrs Afia Owusua Appiah, urged the lawyers to file bail variation applications and furnish the court with details and particulars of the various sureties.
The court recalled how, in some cases before it, accused people absconded after being granted bail.
Earlier, the court ordered the Registrar of the Family and Juvenile Unit to submit, within seven days, the record of proceedings in respect of Patience Botwe, the first accused person.
This was to enable the court to ascertain if she had been granted bail by the Family and Juvenile Court.
The trial earlier urged lawyers to deal with the matter professionally as it would not bow to public pressure.
According to the court, people’s lives were at stake, and multiple allegations had been made, and urged the lawyers to disregard public sentiments in the matter.
The trial judge said this when Mr Raymond Felli counsel for Yahaya Sumaila urged the court to order the prosecution to desist from taking adjournments and to come clear on the matter.
Soon after the pronouncement of the trial, Mr Felli apologised and withdrew his comments against the prosecution.
The court subsequently granted bail to Malik Dauda, the fourth accused in the case, in the sum of GH¢100,000 with two sureties to be justified.
It said that the sureties should reside within the jurisdiction.
The prosecution, led By Akosua Agyapong Agyeman, a State Attorney, said investigators had submitted the docket to the Attorney General’s (AG) office but had yet to see it.
According to her, she would be following up on the matter at the AG’s office.
The state attorney prayed to the court to order defence counsel to formally present the bail variation for her to respond to them.
Patience Botwe and Christiana Achab, both nursing mothers and Job Pomary and Malik Dauda are on bail.
Sarah Agyei, Benjamin Sowa, Yahaya Sumaila have not been admitted to bail.
Franklin Sarakpo is said to be at large.
All the accused persons are facing eleven charges for allegedly stealing money and items from the residence of the former Minister.
The charges include six counts of stealing and five counts of dishonesty receiving.
Earlier, the prosecution, led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Emmanuel Nyamekye, said that the fact and charge sheets had been amended.
Meanwhile, the court has discharged Kwaku Botwe, father of Patience Botwe, alias, Maabena.
The prosecution said one other accused, Franklin Sarakpo, was at large.
It stated that the complainants in the case were Mr Daniel Osei Kufour and his wife, Mrs Cecilia Abena Dapaah, who lived in Abelemkpe, Accra.
The prosecution said the first accused, Patience Botwe, was a house helper for the complainants, while the second accused, Sarah Agyei, was unemployed and a former house helper for the couple.
The third accused, Benjamin Sowah, was Patience Botwe’s lover, the fourth accused, Malik Dauda, was the first accused’s former boyfriend, and the fifth accused is Christiana Achab, a trader.
The court heard that the sixth accused is Job Pomary, husband of fifth accused.
Yahaya Sumaila, the seventh accused, is an excavator operator who lives in Sagnarigu, Tamale Metropolis, and Franklin Sarakpo, the eighth accused, is the son of the fifth accused, who is on the run.
The prosecution said the police commenced investigations when in June 2023, the complainants reported theft of their cash and personal effects.
It said police investigations led to the arrest of the first and third accused persons at their hide outs in Tamale in the Northern Region.
The prosecution said during a search of the rooms of the accused, $40,000 and GH¢7,619.70 were discovered.
The prosecution said further investigation indicated that when Mr Kufour returned from town in October last year, he noticed their bedroom had been opened and heard an unusual noise in the house.
The prosecutor said when Mr Kufuor entered the room, he saw the first accused hiding behind the storeroom door with duplicate keys to the master bedroom.
The court heard that the complainants detected theft of money and personal belongings from the room.
The prosecution said the first accused told the police during interrogation that she gave $70,000 of the stolen money to the fifth accused to buy a three-bedroom property at Amrahia for her, as well as several brand-new items that were retrieved from the house.
The matter has been adjourned to October 3, 2023.