Accra, September 5, 2023 – Eighteen-year-old Patience Botwe, the primary suspect in the theft case involving the former Minister of Sanitation and Water Resources Cecilia Dapaah, has applied for bail at the Circuit Court in Accra.
This move follows several unsuccessful oral applications for bail made by her lawyers.
During yesterday's court proceedings, Botwe's counsel, Nana Addo Asrifi, informed the court of the bail application. In response, the prosecution, led by Assistant State Attorney Akosua Agyeman, filed a formal opposition affidavit.
Botwe's legal team requested a brief adjournment to prepare their response to the prosecution's affidavit.
Meanwhile, Botwe's boyfriend, Benjamin Sowah, also sought bail, but the presiding judge, Afia Owusuaa Appiah, rejected his application. The judge cited the severity of his involvement in the alleged theft case and the circumstances of his arrest in Tamale as reasons for the denial.
Yahaya Sumaila, an excavator operator and the seventh accused person, was, however, granted bail with a bond of GH¢300,000 and two sureties who must be residents within the jurisdiction.
Additionally, Sumaila is required to deposit his passport at the court's registry and report to the police every two weeks.
Sumaila becomes the fourth individual to be granted bail in this case, joining Job Pomary, Sarah Agyei, Christiana Achab, and himself.
The adjournment was also discussed during the proceedings, with the Assistant State Attorney requesting a two-week adjournment to give investigators more time to complete their work.
The delay in concluding investigations was attributed to directions received from the Attorney General's advice on the case docket.
The court directed the prosecution to expedite the investigation process to ensure that the trial commences. Additionally, the prosecution was instructed to file their disclosures by the next court date, though the lawyers in the case preferred to receive the disclosures before the next court sitting.
The case is set to continue on September 19, 2023.
The prosecution's account of the case reveals that in June 2023, the complainants, former Minister Ms. Dapaah and her husband, reported the theft of cash and personal items from their home.
Police investigations led to the arrest of Botwe and Sowah in Tamale, where a search of their hideout revealed $40,000 and GH¢72,619.70 in cash.
Botwe, during interrogation, confessed to giving $70,000 to an individual referred to as “A5” to purchase a three-bedroom house in Amrahia. Brand new items, including appliances and a car, were also purchased with the stolen money.
Further investigation uncovered that Botwe and Sowah had used stolen funds to rent apartments and a storeroom, in addition to other expenditures. Another individual, Agyei, was implicated as an accomplice, leading to her arrest.
Reorting by Justice Agbenorsi. Editing by Mariam Aminu.