The former deputy finance minister Cassiel Ato Forson has been charged by the health minister Kwaku Agyemang-Manu of allowing payments to an ambulance supplier in violation of the contract’s explicit provisions.
According to Mr. Manu, the contract’s provisions mandated that payment not be made until the delivery of the vehicles.
He clarified that inspection had to be done before the automobiles were shipped.
The Ministry of Finance instructed Bank of Ghana to set up letters of credit in a letter.
That was written by the first defendant, the Honorable Ato Forson, who was the time’s deputy minister of finance.
Without consulting the Ministry of Health or the commercial contract that Big Sea and the Ministry of Health signed, this letter was written.
The contract agreement, which required that there be no prior payments and that the vehicles be delivered before payment is made, was not mentioned, according to Mr. Manu.
The third witness for the prosecution in the case against Dr. Forson and two other people is Mr. Agyemang Manu.
They have been accused of a number of offenses, including depriving the government of money by importing 30 ambulances as part of a consignment of 200 in accordance with a 2012 agreement between the Ministry and the Dubai-based company Big Sea Limited.
On Thursday, July 2021, Mr. Manu finished the testimony he had begun on June 28.
He added that the government was not upholding its half of the bargain after the contract for the supply of ambulances and all agreements had been ratified.
He explained that Big Sea served notice of its intention to suit in a letter to the Attorney General.
Big Sea, according to him, was dissatisfied that the government was not carrying out the pre-shipment inspection as was agreed.
He disclosed that the Attorney General’s Office wrote to the Ministry of Health encouraging the government to abide by the contract’s terms or find a method to get out of them because they were legally binding and breaking them would result in a judgment debt.
After receiving the letter from Big Sea announcing its intention to sue, it did this.
He disclosed that the Attorney General received a response from the Ministry of Health stating that the contract could not be fulfilled.
“The basic reason given was that the parliamentary approval for the financing agreement indicated that the source of funding should be from Stanbic Bank and at the time, the ministry had not been informed of any credit agreement between Ministry of Finance and Stanbic Bank so there were no funds available for execution of the agreement.”
According to Mr. Manu, Dr. Forson wrote to the Bank of Ghana following the completion of this letter.He insisted that this action was against the terms of the contract.
He said that the first 10 vehicles entered the nation shortly after, but the Ambulance Service soon discovered they were flawed.
He stated, “Big Sea was made aware of the flaw and the business accepted the flaw.”
In order to verify that the flaws are rectified, the company, he stated, requested representatives of the Ministry to visit its production site in Dubai.
He argued that Big Sea’s repeated postponements of the visit date prevented this invitation from materializing.Big Sea, he claimed, kept bringing more vehicles into the nation.
The Ministry responded to Big Sea in writing, bringing Big Sea’s attention to the need for rectification” (fixing defects).
The decision to halt the contract for the supply of the ambulance was then communicated in writing by the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Finance, according to him.
He went on to say that the Ministry of Health eventually sent the technical team to Big Sea in Dubai, but the company was unable to correct the flaws.