Ato Forson Trial: Former Director of MOF opens defence

Dr Sylvester Anemana, a Former Chief Director, Ministry of Health, in the trial involving Dr Ato Forson, the Minority Leader, and one other in the Ambulance saga, has opened his defence.

Dr. Anemana, in his witness statement, said he was transferred to the Ministry of Environment and was not privy to the processes leading to the purchase of the ambulance.

The Former Chief Director said he retired from the Environment Ministry in September 2015 before the ambulances were purchased.

Dr Forson is on a self-recognisance bail of GHS3 million. He has been charged with wilfully 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 was also granted a bail of one million Ghana Cedis with three sureties, one of whom shall be a public servant not below the rank of a director.

While Mr Dzakpa, was granted bail of five million Ghana Cedi
s with three sureties one of whom must be justified with documents of landed property.

He said somewhere in September 2010, when he was then Chief Director for Ministry of Health, Jakpa@Business Limited, a local partner of Big Sea General Trading LC of Dubai, submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Health (MOH) for the supply of 200 Mercedes Benz ambulances to the government at a cost of 15.8 million Euros.

He said the said proposal was attached with a proposed financing scheme and Term Sheet from Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited purposely for financing the purchase of the ambulances.

The accused person said upon the receipt of the proposal and Term Sheet from Stanbic Bank, he wrote to the Ministry of Finance to advise on the acceptability of the lending terms as provided in the term sheet.

‘I received a reply from the Ministry of Finance in January 2011, indicating that Stanbic Bank Term Sheet was acceptable for Government borrowing,’ he added.

He said the then Health Minister, Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin,
presented a Memorandum to Cabinet for consideration of Stanbic Bank facility of 15.8milion Euros to purchase the 20 Mercedes Benz ambulances, Cabinet executive approval was conveyed to MOH in January Exhibit A2(4)8.

Dr Anemana said Parliament equally approved the loan facility of 15.8milion Euros Financing agreement between Ghana and Stanbic Bank Limited for the purchase of the 20 ambulances on the 14 November 2012.

Upon the approval of the loan facility by Parliament, he put together all relevant documents and made a request to Public Procurement Authority (PPA) by a letter dated November 5, 2012, for approval, to sole source the ambulances from Big Sea Trading LC.

He said PPA upon the receipt of his request for approval, made further demand to MOH for clarification, which he later wrote to PPA per a letter dated November 19, 2012, to clarify things.

He said the PPA after following due procedures as required of its establishment, approved MOH request on December 13, 2012, that Big Sea LC Trading
should be sole sourced to supply the 200 ambulances at cost of 15.8 million Euros.

The accused person said in September 2012, he wrote and submitted a draft Supply Agreement to the Attorney General for its review and legal opinion on the agreement to guide the MOH in finalizing the contract between the Government and Big Sea.

The Attorney General in its reply made certain recommendations to the MOH to consider before the final agreement was ready for execution.

Based on the Attorney General’s advice, the draft agreement was revised in line with the recommendations made.

Meanwhile, the Minority Leader has concluded his defence. Initially, he intended to summon former Health Minister Alex Segbefia as his third witness, but Mr Segbefia was absent.

Source: Ghana News Agency

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