A government minister in Ghana must have thought she was doing the right thing by going to the police to report a theft at her house, but it backfired spectacularly when she was arrested.

According to a court charge sheet dated last Thursday relating to those accused of the theft, Cecilia Abena Dapaah had a vast amount of money stolen.

It describes a “cash sum” of $1m (£780,000), as well as 300,000 euros ($333,000) and 350,000 Ghana cedis ($30,000), plus other personal items including handbags valued at $35,000 and $95,000-worth of jewellery.

The 68-year-old disputes the figures given in the court document but the revelations outraged many in Ghana.

The country’s currency has been losing value rapidly in recent months, with those in charge of the troubled economy blaming dollar hoarders for the woes of the cedi.

It was shocking for many to learn that a government minister may have been holding foreign currency herself.

Ms Dapaah resigned as minister of sanitation and water resources, a post she had held for the last five years on Saturday in order, she said, not to distract from the work of government. 

She added that she was sure that any investigation would show she had acted with integrity.

The Office of the Special Prosecutor, which deals with graft allegations against high-level officials, announced that it had arrested and was questioning Ms Dappah for “suspected corruption and corruption-related offences regarding large amounts of money and other valuable items reportedly stolen from her residence”.

She was released on bail late on Monday evening after her official and private residences in the capital, Accra, were searched.

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