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Godfred Dame’s 14 reasons for calling out Ato Forson, others

Cassiel Ato Forson, former deputy Finance Minister

Stanbic funding was a hoax and never existent, AG

AG drags Cassiel Ato Forson, 2 others to court

AG goes to court over €2.37M in ambulance deal

Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, who is also the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ajumako Enyan Esiam, and the Ranking Member on the Finance Committee of Parliament has been dragged to court by the state for allegedly causing financial loss through the purchase of some ambulances between 2014 and 2016.

He has been charged with Sylvester Anemana, a former Chief Director of the Ministry of Health and Richard Jakpa, a businessman.

At the first hearing in court today, the accused persons pleaded not guilty of all charges.

The Attorney General, representing the state in the case however presented the fact sheet, with the details of their allegations and petitions.

Below are the details as outlined:

THE FAKE AMBULANCE SCANDAL

1. Fact: In 2011, Ghana had a fleet of 99 ambulances serving a population of approximately 25.3 million people.

2. The government in 2012 set out to procure 200 ambulances to improve access to health delivery and thereby reduce the challenges in the health sector.

3. The nation spent several millions of Euros to purchase these ambulances yet received terminally unfit automobiles: unfit for purpose and unfit to be refitted into the functional ambulances originally intended.

4. The 2nd Accused the then Chief Director of the Ministry of Health requested and obtained approval from the PPA to solely source these ambulances from Big Sea General Trading LLC acting through the 3rd Accused.

5. The approval from the PPA was premised on the false representation that Big Sea Trading had secured funding for the project at Stanbic Bank Ltd.

6. It is a fact that the said Stanbic funding was a hoax and never existent.

7. Meanwhile, based on PPA’s approval, the Government of Ghana contracted Big Sea LLC to supply 200 ambulances at the sum of €15,800,000.00.

8. By the terms of this Agreement, the Contract will become effective upon the signing by both Parties and obtaining all statutory approvals.

9. By the terms of this Agreement, the Government of Ghana was prohibited from advancing any payment until the post-delivery inspection of the ambulances was conducted.

10. The 1st Accused despite being firmly prohibited by Parliament from making any advance payment under this arrangement, proceeded to request from the Central Bank the establishment of Letters of Credit when no ambulances had neither been delivered nor inspected.

11. Evidently, the purpose of prohibiting advanced payment was to prevent the wastage of public funds.

12. But for 1st Accused instrumental directive to the Central Bank “urgently requesting … to establish Letters of Credit … while arrangements are being made to perfect and sign the Loan Agreement,” the Government had no obligation, to transfer any funds, to any entity, at any time, before these goods were delivered and subsequently inspected.

13. By the 1st Accused ignoring this prohibition and proceeding to direct the Controller and Accountant-General to release GH 806,688.75 to the MOH to pay as charges for the Letters of Credit even before receiving and inspecting the ambulances has resulted in the importation of Fake Ambulances and financial loss to the State.

14. Again, for 1st Accused to ignore this material obligation and proceed to direct the Controller to charge the budget of the Ministry of Health contrary to Parliamentary approval resulting in the importation of these Fake Ambulances has caused financial loss of €2,370,000.00 to the State.

15. The office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice has the preeminent duty of protecting the public purse, demanding accountability for public resources, and upholding the rule of law at all times.

16. The Republic demands answers in this FAKE AMBULANCE SCANDAL. This quest for accountability will adhere to due process in a Court of Law and afford a fair trial to the accused persons.

17. I have said it before and I emphasize again: this office does not directly build roads, promote tourism, design education, but a diligent execution of the Attorney General’s mandate secures the attainment of the aforementioned objectives in a nation’s development.

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