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Cecilia Dapaah theft case: Anti-graft bodies call for protection of househelps

Cecilia Dapaah resigned last weekend after reports that millions of cedis had been stolen from her residence in Abelenkpe, Accra, by two of her househelps

The anti-graft bodies Ghana Integrity Initiative and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition are calling for the protection of the two househelps involved in the theft case centred on the Accra residence of Cecilia Dapaah, the immediate past minister of sanitation and water resources.

Ms Dapaah resigned over the weekend following reports that millions of cedis had been stolen by two of her househelps from her home in Abelenkpe, a suburb of Accra.

The two principal accused, 18-year-old Patience Botwe and 30-year-old Sarah Agyei, are charged with conspiracy to commit a crime and five counts of stealing. The alleged thefts occurred between July and October 2022.

During this period, court documents allege, the househelps stole personal effects belonging to Dapaah, including assorted clothing valued at GHC95,000 and handbags, perfumes and jewellery worth US$95,000.

Botwe is also accused of stealing six sets of kente cloth worth GHC90,000 and six sets of men’s suits valued at US$3,000, which belong to the minister’s husband.

Furthermore, three other individuals, identified as Botwe’s current and former boyfriends and her father, are facing charges for their alleged involvement in the crime. They are charged with dishonestly receiving GHC1 million, GHC180,000 and GHC50,000, respectively.

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A joint statement issued by the two anti-graft bodies also called for the immediate passage of the Conduct of Public Officers Bill to strengthen Ghana’s assets declaration regime.

“The Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII) and the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC) have followed with keen interest, the recent news of the alleged theft of substantial amounts of money and personal effects belonging to Madam Cecelia Abena Dapaah, the Minister of Sanitation, and the husband …

“In addition to our call for a transparent and comprehensive investigations, we also call for an immediate passing of the Conduct of Public Officer’s Bill [sic] to strengthen Ghana’s asset declaration regime. This bill includes provisions on the amendments of the existing Asset Declaration Act to guarantee a robust Asset Declaration regime …

“We also call for immediate protection of the two househelps named in the story since the serve as prime witnesses to the unfolding case,” the statement said.

Below is the full statement:

Reporting by Fred Dzakpata in Accra

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