Ambulance trial: Court directs Ato Forson, others to open defence

With two others, former Deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson are facing charges for causing financial loss over the importation of 200 ambulances

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

The High Court hearing the case involving former Deputy Finance Minister, Cassiel Ato Forson, and two others, has ordered them to open their defence after it ruled that a prima facie case has been established against the accused persons. 

The court presided over Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe observed that from the evidence before it and submissions filed by parties, it was not in doubt that some ambulances were purchased using state resources. And that again all parties had agreed that the vehicles that were imported were not fit for purpose. 

“I hold that once there was the need to show that there are ambulances that are not fit for purpose and not value for money, the accused persons are to respond to charges,” she said.  

The defence has up to April 11, 2023, to file witness statements, the court stated. The case was subsequently adjourned to April 13, 2023. 

Attorney-General's Argument

The Attorney-General in his submissions (both orally and written) before the court has maintained that  Ato Forson and the others standing trial have a case to answer for their role in importing ‘fake ambulances’ into the country. 

Witnesses the state had called in the course of the trial had testified that Dr. Ato Forson acted without authorization when he instructed the Bank of Ghana to establish Letters of Credit which led to payments being made to Big Sea.

Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu, who testified in July 2022, told the court that the said contract between Big Sea and the Ministry of Health stipulated that the vehicles had to be delivered and prior inspection made before payment was made.

In a written submission to the court ahead of today's ruling, Attorney-General Godfred Dame said: “It can clearly be deduced that he desired to cause financial loss, or he foresaw the loss as virtually certain but took an unjustifiable risk of it, or he could foresee the loss as probable consequence but elected to unreasonably risk same, or he failed to exercise due care and attention and thereby caused a loss."

However, Dr. Forson’s lawyers have refuted the statements, insisting their client only acted on behalf of former Finance Minister Seth Terkper.


Former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, and two others; Dr. Sylvester Anemana and businessman, Richard Jakpa have been charged by the state for causing financial loss, over the importation of 200 ambulances in a contract between the Ministry of Health and a Dubai-based company, Big Sea Limited in 2012.

They have been charged with five counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state, abetment to willfully cause financial loss to the state, contravention of the Public Procurement Act and intentionally misapplying public property, and have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In January 2022, Dr. Forson was granted a self-recognisance bail of GH¢3 million for allegedly willfully causing a 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. Sylvester Anemana, a Former Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, was also granted bail of GH¢1 million with three sureties one of whom shall be a public servant not below the rank of a director. 

Mr. Richard Dzakpa, a businessman, also in the trial, was granted a GH¢5 million bail with three sureties one of whom must be justified with documents of landed property.