Minister of Health Kweku Agyeman-Manu was unable to show up when the Financial Court 3 of the Accra High Court called for the Prosecution’s third witness in the case against Former Deputy Minister of Finance Casiel Ato Forson, on Thursday June 16.
Director of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Attakorah Obuobisa told Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe that the minister had communicated at the last minute that he had been called into an emergency COVAX meeting for which reason he would not be able to come to court.
This was after lawyer Israel Ackah was forced to hold brief for counsel for the third accused, Ampah Korsah after he did not show up to cross-examine the Prosecution’s second witness.
Justice Asare-Botwe expressed displeasure at the turn of events.
The court noted that the case has been adjourned to June 28 to allow the Prosecution’s 3 witness to show for cross examination.
Prosecution was cautioned that it should not be repeated adding that in the event the Minister failed to show up, the state would have to call another witness.
The Ranking Member of the Finance Committee of Parliament and two others, had been dragged to the High Court on five counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state.
According to the facts of the case, Dr Ato Forson, when he was a Deputy Finance Minister under the Mahama administration, executed a contract by the government of Ghana to purchase some 200 ambulances for the National Ambulance Service.
Despite the granting of a medium term loan facility of €15.8 million for the 200 ambulances, only 10 were shipped to Ghana in 2014.
“A post-delivery inspection of the first batch of 10 ambulances revealed that same were without any medical equipment in them.
“Other fundamental defects included defects on the body of the vehicles and the patient compartment of the ambulances,” the writ noted.