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Ambulance Case: Chief Justice Declines Petition To Remove Judge In Ato Forson, 2 Others Trial

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Chief Justice, Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Sackey Torkornoo, has declined a petition to have Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, removed from further presiding over the criminal case in which former Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson and two others are standing trial over the purchase of ambulance said to be unfit for purpose.

Richard Dzakpa, a businessman who is the third accused person on July 6, 2023, petitioned the Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Torkornoo to intervene over what the petitioner described as ‘bias’ against him by the judge.

But the Petition has been dismissed by the Chief Justice as one that lacks merit with Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge, asked to continue with the case.

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In court on Thursday, July 27, Justice Asare-Botwe, the trial judge said the CJ has dealt with the Petition and has been declined.

Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, the former Deputy Minister for Finance and two others are standing trial for willfully causing financial loss to the State to the tune of over €2 million in vehicles (ambulance) purchase.

The trial was previously put on hold pending the outcome of Richard Dzakpa’s, petition to the Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Justice Gertrude Araba Esaaba Torkornoo to remove the presiding judge over what he described as ‘bias.’

Meanwhile, Lawyers for the Minority Leader, Dr Ato Forson through his lawyers moved a motion asking Justice Asare-Botwe not to hear their motion for her to recuse herself from the case.

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The request has been opposed to by the Attorney General with Justice Asare-Botwe adjourning the case to October 12 to deliver a reasoned ruling.

Meanwhile, the Second Defence Witness for Ato Forson, Alex Mould, the former Chief Executive of Ghana National Petroleum Commission has been discharged after the conclusion of his cross examination by the Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame.

Dr. Ato Forson, currently the Minority Leader on Parliament, Sylvester Anemana, a former Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, and a private businessman, Richard Jakpa, are standing trial for allegedly wilfully causing financial loss of €2.37 million to the state, through a contract to purchase 200 ambulances for the Ministry of Health.

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They have all pleaded not guilty and are standing trial.



The trial of the former Deputy Finance Minister and the two others started on January 18, 2022 before the court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Court of Appeal Judge sitting as an additional High Court Judge.

They have pleaded not guilty to the five counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the state, abetment of crime, contravention of Public Procurement Act and intentionally misapplying public property.

Dr. Forson was granted a GHc3 million self-reconnaissance bail, while Anemana was granted a bail of GHc1 million with three surgeries, one who must be a public servant not below the rank of a Director.

Businessman, Richard Jakpa on the other hand was granted a bail of GHc5 million bail with three sureties one of whom must be justified with documents of a landed property.

The prosecution led by the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame and Director of Public Prosecutions, Yvonne Atakora-Obuobisa, called five witnesses, including the Minister of Health, Kwaku Agyemang-Manu to prove its case.





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