Former Deputy Minister for Finance, Cassiel Ato Forson, has reacted to the statement issued by the Attorney General over concerns he (Forson) had raised over the criminal charges brought against him.
The Attorney General’s office has refuted claims that the former deputy minister is being prosecuted for causing financial loss to the state, due to his opposition to the Electronic Transaction Levy (e-levy).
A press release issued on Wednesday stated that investigations into financial crimes in relation to the failed purchase of ambulances for the state began in 2017.
The statement indicated that the AG considers the allegations by Dr Forson that his prosecution for a crime bordering on a misapplication of public funds “and willfully causing financial loss to the state is related to concerns the MPs had started raising about the 2022 Budget and Economic Policy of the Government, as rather absurd and misleading.”
But reacting, Dr. Forson insisted that the case brought against him was borne out of deliberate political persecution, hate and prejudice.
“It is the Attorney General who is driven by hate, prejudice and demagoguery! He is the one abusing his prosecutorial powers to silence critical political opponents.”
The MP and a former Chief Director of the Ministry of Health; Sylvester Anemana, and a businessman; Richard Jakpa, are alleged to have cost the state to lose €2.37 million in a deal to purchase 200 ambulances for the country between 2014 and 2016.
Richard Jakpa is said to have used his company, Jakpa at Business, to present a proposal and term loan to the Ministry of Health to finance the supply of 200 ambulances to the government.
The three are currently before the Accra High Court by the Attorney-General on five counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the state, abetment to wilfully cause financial loss to the state, contravention of the Public Procurement Act, and intentionally misapplying public property.
Read the full statement below
I have noted a statement issued by a Deputy Attorney General claiming that by speaking out against the malice and deliberate political persecution inherent in the decision to prosecute me, I am exposing the Attorney General to “hate” and “prejudice”.
I wish to state that the Attorney General’s office cannot determine my reaction to the sinister plot to needlessly tarnish my reputation and rob me of my liberty simply because I remain implacably opposed to the poor economic policies of this government and in particular the E-Levy.
It is the Attorney General who is driven by hate, prejudice and demagoguery! He is the one abusing his prosecutorial powers to silence critical political opponents.
For instance on Paragraph 7 of the AG’s statement issued yesterday, it was claimed that;
“As stated in the facts of the case filed in court on 22nd December, 2011, cabinet endorsed an executive approval of a joint memorandum submitted to cabinet by the then Minister for Health and the first accused Cassiel Ato Forson, then Deputy Minister for Finance, for the purchase of 200 ambulances out of a medium term credit facility of €15,800,000 between Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited and the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance.”
For the avoidance of doubt , the Cabinet memo for the purchase of the Ambulances was submitted in December,2011. I became a Deputy minister on the 2nd of May 2013. How could I have signed a cabinet MEMO in December 2011?