Cecilia Dapaah case: OSP petitions Chief Justice for judge to recuse himself

According to the Special Prosecutor, the request in the Dapaah case is grounded on the OSP’s “well-founded belief that Justice Edward Twum appears to be highly prejudiced against the OSP“

The Special Prosecutor, Kissi Agyebeng, has petitioned the Chief Justice, Gertrude Araba Sackey Torkornoo, for the judge hearing the lawsuit against Cecilia Dapaah, Justice Edward Twum, to recuse himself from the entire case.

Justice Twum announced the development on Thursday (12 October) when his court constituted to hear the OSP’s application to seize about US$590,000 it discovered in the home of the former sanitation minister after a search and also to freeze two bank accounts belonging to Dapaah.

According to the OSP, “the request is grounded on the OSP’s well-founded belief that Justice Edward Twum appears to be highly prejudiced against the OSP and the person of the Special Prosecutor”.

“Consequently, as it stands, the OSP would not and cannot be reasonably expected to be parties to proceedings before the said judge,” said the Special Prosecutor in a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Thursday.

Judge’s comment

“I have received a letter that the OSP has written to the Chief Justice that I recuse myself from the case. We should take a date to await the decision of the Chief Justice on the petition,” Justice Twum said in open court.

Lawyers from the OSP did not show up in court at all. However, Dapaah, her husband, Daniel Osei Kuffour, and the couples lawyers, led by Victoria Barth, were in court.

Barth, when she stood up to address the court, said: “In respect of the information regarding the applicant’s [the OSP’s] petition to the Chief Justice that you recuse yourself from this matter, it is disappointing that having regard to the adverse effect that his pending application has on the first respondent, he did not even deem it fit to give us notice of this petition.

“It is regrettable that this petition should come so late in the day when no prior indication or complaint has been made regarding your lordship capacity, competence, or integrity in dealing with this matter.

“We see it without prejudice to the merit of this petition as a deliberate ploy to frustrate this morning’s hearing and a desperate attempt to avoid his own ill-fitted application. Nevertheless, the inevitable cannot be avoided, and there shall be a day of reckoning,” Barth added.

Justice Twum has adjourned sitting to Thursday 18 October 2023 for the Chief Justice to take a decision on the petition.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra

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