Ato Forson case: Government breached establishment of LC process – Health Minister

Kwaku Agyemang Manu

Mr Kwaku Agyemang Manu, the Minister of Health, says the Government breached processes laid down for the establishment of the Letter of Credit (LC) as stated in the Ambulance contract in Dr Ato Forson’s case.

He said LC should be established upon the signing of the contract for every 50 ambulances.

Dr Manu, who is the third prosecution witness in the case involving Dr Ato Forson and two others, said exhibits V spoke about 200 medical ambulances and so the issue where the contract spoke about for every 50 ambulances there should be an establishment of LC, that was never done.

Dr Forson, a Former Deputy Minister of Finance, was granted a self-recognisance bail of GH¢3 million for allegedly willfully causing financial loss of 2,370,000 euros to the State.

He is also facing an additional charge of “Intentionally misapplying public property contrary to section 1 (2) of the Public Property Protection Act, 1977 (SMCD 140).”

Dr Anemana, a Former Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, was also granted a bail of GH¢1 million with three sureties one of whom shall be a public servant not below the rank of a director.

Mr Dzakpa, a businessman, was also granted bail of GH¢5 million with three sureties one of whom must be justified with documents of landed property.

The witness agreed with Dr Abdul Aziz Bamba, counsel for Dr Ato Forson, that the then government did not comply with certain parts of the contract, adding that it breached the time frame for the establishment of the LC.

Mr Manu explained that there was no pre-shipment inspection on the ambulances before they arrived at the port of entry in Tema.

The witness said the government also did not conduct any pre-shipment inspection for the final shipment to Ghana.

Mr Manu agreed to the fact that there were attempts by the parties to resolve the technical issues that had arisen from the delivery of the contract and also agreed that there was a road map to resolve the issues.

The Minister also said the government did not perform its obligation on the road map.

Asked, whether he was aware the Big Sea Company shipped some medical supplies for the Ministry of Health, he answered in the affirmative, adding that during their meeting, he told the parties that government did not have resources to clear the goods at the port, but the lawyer disagreed.

Dr Bamba said it was the responsibility of the government to clear the medical supplies and asked the witness to read the evidence, which indicated the government had the responsibility to clear the supplies.

The witness, after reading the evidence, said he was amazed at the documents.

Mr Alex Owureidu Dankwa, lawyer for Dr Anemana, in a further cross examination, asked the witness to tell the court at what period the accused person was the Chief Director of the Ministry, but the witness said, “l cannot tell.”

The witness said he knew he was the Chief Director but was not aware he had reassigned from the Ministry of Health and joined the Ministry of Environment, Science and Technology for two years.

The case was adjourned to January 10, 2023, for continuation.

The next witness will be an Officer from the Ministry of Finance.

Source: GNA

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