Agyeman-Manu to testify against Ato Forson in €2.3 million financial loss trial

Ato-Forson, two others charged over ambulance purchase

Health Minister to appear in court as a prosecution witness

Ambulances purchased under Mahama administration were deemed not fit for purpose

The Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, is expected to take to the witness stand in the ongoing trial of former Deputy Finance Minister Cassiel Ato Forson and two others.

Mr Agyeman-Manu is expected to be called today, Thursday, June 16, 2022, as the third prosecution witness in the matter of the Republic against Cassiel Ato Forson, Sylvester Anemana, and Richard Jakpa.

Ato-Forson, who is a Ranking Member on Parliament’s Finance Committee and Minority spokesperson on Finance, has been accused of wilfully causing financial loss to the state in the purchase of some ambulances during the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama administration.

His co-accused include a former Chief Director at the Health Ministry, Sylvester Anemana, and a businessman, Richard Jakpa.

In the recent sitting of the court on the matter, the first prosecution witness, Dr. Forster Ansong-Bridjan, testified that the ambulances imported between 2015/2016 did not meet basic standards and specifications.

Dr Ansong-Bridjan, who is the Acting Director of Operations at the National Ambulance Service (NAS), told the court that the ambulances were without any fitted lights for operations and that the patient trolley was also too low and without seatbelts.

The prosecution witness, according to Citi News, told the court that the attendant’s seat fitted at the head of the patient’s trolley, a swivel chair, had not been formerly fitted.

He noted that the other seats at the side of the trolley were fitted too low and would not have afforded the paramedics the comfort they needed to work.

The witness added that cabinets meant to contain medications and other consumables in the ambulance were made with sharp metallic edges, which could easily cause injury to the occupants, while their drawers were neither tight nor self-locking.

He also observed the absence of some medical equipment in the imported ambulances.

These include patient monitoring equipment such as blood pressure monitor, stethoscope, glucometer, and pulse oximeter, among others.

Others are resuscitation equipment such as a bag valve mask, suction machine, portable ventilator and an automatic external defibrillator.

Immobilisation equipment such as bag valve mask, suction machine, portable ventilator and an automatic external defibrillator was noted by the NAS Acting Director of Operations as being absent in the ambulances.

Cassiel Ato Forson, Sylvester Anemana and Richard Jakpa, according to the prosecution, caused a financial loss of 2.37 million euros to the state.