The Deputy Attorney-General, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah has said that they are ready to prove their case of causing financial loss to the state with regard to the 200 ambulances procured under the erstwhile NDC government.

According to Mr. Tuah-Yeboah, evidence is an essential element in the ambulance case, therefore “we are going to need evidence in court” to prove the case.

“We are very much satisfied with the arrangement of the court. This one is a fake ambulance scandal and we are ready any time to appear before the court and put across our case ….. At the end of the day, the evidence will show that this case is not a case where we are trying to use any other means… Nothing of that sought, pure legal matters and nothing else,” he said.

The Attorney-General’s office on December 23, 2021, filed criminal charges against former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson and two others, for causing financial loss to the state in relation to the procurement of 200 ambulances by the Prof. John Evans Atta Mills and John Mahama led government. 

The suit also named Sylvester Anemana, Chief Director at the Ministry of Health at the time of the contract, and a businessman, Richard Jakpa, as persons of interest.

Documents filed by the A-G’s office traced the events culminating into the alleged crimes to an announcement made in the 2009 State of the Nation Address regarding plans to procure ambulances for the country.

The A-G 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 A-G, gave an Executive Approval for the project. However, it emerged later that the ambulances had some defects which render them not fit for purpose.

But Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, reacting to the charges against him, described them as trumped up and frivolous.

According to him, the suit relating to 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, December 24, 2021, to set the record straight, Dr 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.

But, the Deputy A-G in reaction stated that the charge filed against Ato Forson and the two others has no political objective.

“We are dealing with what we have through the investigation conducted by the Ghana Police Service and EOCO (Economic and Organised Crime Organisation). So based on what we have, we think these are the appropriate people to draw before this Court,” he stated.

He added that the office of the A-G is, “trying to make sure that people are made to account for their stewardship so anyone who has also done anything untoward, the laws of Ghana will not let the person go scot-free.”

Meanwhile, the three accused of causing financial loss to the state have pleaded not guilty to the charge.

They have been granted bail in sums totaling ¢8 million.

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