The alleged mastermind in the Cecilia Abena Dapaah, former Sanitation and Water Resource Minister, stealing case, has been refused bail by an Accra Circuit Court.
The court held that Patience Botwe, the 18-year-old former house help of the ex-Minister jumped bail at Juvenile Court “C,” Accra, after the court had granted bail.
“This court is not inclined to grant bail to first accused person (Patience Botwe) because proceeding of the Juvenile Court C showed that she flouted the court bail and a bench warrant was issued for her arrest.
Even when the case was struck out in March this year, the accused person was not arrested despite the bench warrant. Bail application for first accused person is refused,” the court presided over by Mrs Afia Owusua Appiah held.
The court ruling emerged after the lawyer for the accused person, Nana Addo Asrifi, prayed it to admit Patience to bail and that at the Juvenile Court Patience was granted bail.
This compelled the Circuit Court to direct its Registrar to secure proceedings at the Juvenile Court to verify his claims in relation to his client’s bail.
The court has further directed Prosecution to complete their investigations so that the pleas of the accused persons could be taken at the next adjourned date.
It also directed the Police to investigate the properties of the sureties presented by the accused persons to facilitate the execution of their bail.
Led by Akosua Agyepomaa, Assistant State Attorney (ASA), the Prosecution told the court they had received voluminous documents from the Police and that they would want to peruse them before taking any action.
According to the ASA, the Police were asked to investigate certain aspects of the case and they have complied and produced the said voluminous documents.
She said in addition, the Attorney General was working on the case docket. Some lawyers were not enthused with the delay caused by the prosecution by always seeking adjournment.
Mr J. K. Ntoni, who represented two of the accused persons, said the freedom of the accused persons was at stake and quizzed prosecution why they kept seeking adjournment at the detriment of the accused persons.
Earlier, defence counsels expressed the frustration their clients were going through in executing their bail.
Mr Raymond Felli, who was led by Mr Yaw Dankwah, said they had been frequenting the Police station in their bid to execute the bail, adding, “they have been asking us to go and come back.”
Sarah Agyei and Christiana Achab, both nursing mothers and Job Pomary and Malik Dauda are on bail.
Patience Botwe, 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 of 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 GHC7,619.70 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 18, 2023.