Ato Forson

Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson has described the charges against him as trumped up and frivolous.

According to him, his prosecution over his involvement in the procurement of 200 ambulances is only an attempt to silence him because of his unrelenting stance against the proposed E-Levy bill.

Speaking at a press conference on Friday to set the record straight, Dr. Ato Forson insisted that he did not authorize payment for the procurement of the said ambulances.

“It should be noted that I, Cassiel Ato Forson did not authorize payment for the said £2,370,000. But my only job in the entire transaction was to request the issuance of letters of credit on the authority of the Minister responsible for Finance at the time,” he said.

He explained that a Letter of Credit was only a guarantee “that a buyer’s payment to a seller will be received on time and for the correct amount. And in the event that the buyer is unable to make a payment on the purchase, the bank will be required to recover the full or remaining amount of the purchase.”

“Letters of credit are not payment. I did not authorize payment,” he stressed.

He has, therefore, thrown a challenge to the government to provide evidence proving that he indeed authorized payment for the purchase of the said ambulances.

“Unless somebody tells me they don’t understand the meaning of Letters of Credit. It is just a guarantee and not a payment by itself. In fact, in the Letter of Credit that was issued, someone had to authorize that payment and certainly not me. At the right time we’ll make sure that document is made available,” he said.

Background

The Attorney-General’s office has filed criminal charges including causing financial loss to the state against former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson and two others.

The two are; Sylvester Anemana who was a Chief Director at the Ministry of Health when the alleged crimes are said to have been committed and a businessman, Richard Jakpa.

The case relates to the procurement of 200 ambulances by the Prof. John Evans Atta Mills and John Mahama-led government. Documents filed by the AG’s office trace the events culminating into the alleged crimes to an announcement made in the 2009 State of the National Address regarding plans to procure ambulances for the country.

The AG said following this address, the Ministry of Health (MOH) initiated action to acquire more ambulances. The 3rd accused person, Richard Jakpa is said to have used his company, Jakpa at Business, to present a proposal and Term Loan to the Ministry of Health which he claimed to have arranged from Stanbic Bank to finance the supply of the 200 ambulances to the government.

Cabinet, according to the AG, gave an Executive Approval for the project.

However, it emerged later that the ambulances had some defects which rendered them not fit for purpose.



NULL Invalid API key or channelobject(stdClass)#8553 (1) { ["error"]=> object(stdClass)#8573 (3) { ["code"]=> int(403) ["message"]=> string(117) "The request cannot be completed because you have exceeded your quota." ["errors"]=> array(1) { [0]=> object(stdClass)#8548 (3) { ["message"]=> string(117) "The request cannot be completed because you have exceeded your quota." ["domain"]=> string(13) "youtube.quota" ["reason"]=> string(13) "quotaExceeded" } } } }