Ato Forson Ambulance case: Former Ministry of Health Chief Director seriously ill, court to release passport to allow for treatment abroad

Dr Sylvester Anemana

The Economic and Financial Court 1 of the Accra High Court is set to release the passport of the former Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, Dr Sylvester Anemana.

An application for the passport was made after lawyers explained that the health of the second accused person in the ambulance purchase trial is deteriorating and thus needed urgent attention.

Dr Sylvester Anemana, together with former Deputy Minister of Finance and incumbent Minority Leader in Parliament, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, and Richard Jakpa, a businessman, have been charged for allegedly causing financial loss of €2.37 million to the state in a deal to purchase 200 ambulances for Ghana between 2014 and 2016.

They have pleaded not guilty.

Lead counsel for Dr Anemana, Alex Owiredu Dankwa told the court that due to his client’s situation, speaking has become laborious for him. He indicated that the former Chief Director at the Ministry of Health would be unavailable for over two months and prayed for an adjournment.

Presiding judge, Afia Serwah Asare- Botwe, however, conceded that although Dr Anemana’s condition is grave the practice doesn’t allow for more than one month adjournment of cases.

“I can’t adjourn a case for 3 months because per the practice, you can’t adjourn for more than a month.

“This is a very difficult situation. If he were to stay here, we’d actually be done in 3months and judgement will be ready.”

Justice Asare-Botwe indicated that the court will release the passport of Dr Sylvester Anemana but will be subject to some terms.

She adjourned the case to January 23 for cross-examination to continue and to study the second accused’s situation in order to conclude on what the decision will be.

She indicated that she would take into consideration an instance where one of the accused persons in the Saglemi Housing case Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu is being tried in absentia on health grounds.

Alhaji Ziblim Yakubu the Chief Director at the Ministry from 2009 to 2017 waived his rights to his lawyer citing grave health conditions.