Witness Summons has been issued for a former Minister of Health, Alex Segbefia to appear before the High Court in Accra to testify in the case in which former Deputy Minister of Finance Dr Cassiel Ato Forson and two others are standing trial for charges including willfully causing financial loss to the state.
Per the Witness Summons issued by the Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, following an Exparte motion moved by Lawyer Dr Aziz Bamba, counsel for Ato Forson, Mr Segbefia is to appear on June 29, 2023.
Mr Patrick Nimo, the current Chief Director at the Ministry of Environment Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) and a former Budget Director at the Ministry of Health is also summoned to appear on the same date.
The third Witness summons was also directed to Mr Seidu Kotomah, former Controller and Accountant General of Ghana, who is to appear on July 6, 2023.
According to the court, Dr Forsom should direct service to Mr Segbefia and Mr Nimo in an electronic format via WhatsApp number while Koromah who is said to be in the Savanna Region is to be served with the summons through direct service.
Meanwhile, the summons in respect of Dr Sam Mensah, the Technical Advisor to the Ministry of Finance, was withdrawn.
Our Court reporter reports that, after the three who have been summoned, Alex Mould, the former Chief Executive of Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and Seth Terkper, former Finance Minister will also testify.
Dr. Ato Forson, currently the Minority Leader in 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.
They have all pleaded not guilty to a combined four charges which also include intentionally misapplying public property and are all standing trial.m while on bail.
The prosecution had earlier closed its case after calling four witnesses, including former Health Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.
Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge, has held that a prima facie case has been established, and all three are to respond to their charges.
On Tuesday, June 20, Ato Forson who is the first accused person opened his defence after calling his first Witness in the person of Henry Myles Mills, Head of Dispute Resolution and Litigation at Stanbic Bank to testify.
He has since been cross-examined by the Prosecution led by the Attorney General Godfred Yeboah Dame and has been discharged.
In court on Thursday, June 22, when the case was called for Dr Forson to call his second witness, his lead counsel Dr Bamba explained to the court challenges that have hampered their inability to produce their come their next witness.
“We were to bring our second witness to court today (Thursday) to testify in this matter in the person of Mr Seidu Kotomah, former Comptroller and Accountant General, unfortunately, we’ve not been able to secure the attendance of the witness in court today, to testify,” Dr Bamba told the court.
He explained that, upon realizing that “we will not be able to have the witness testify in court today, we made diligent efforts to get other witnesses to appear in court today to testify.”
Counsel said, he specifically, “I approached Alexander K. Mound who has already filed a statement whether he’d be available today, but he indicated his inability to do so.”
“I also got the First Accused to talk to other witnesses despite the short notice, to get others but didn’t get positive response,” Counsel told the court.
He said, “it was only after that, that we decided to write to the court and copy to the AG about our inability of our witness to come.”
As a result, counsel extended his extreme apology to the court, the Attorney General, the co-accused persons, the Clerks and all stakes in the matter.
“I apologize to the A-G, I have a duty to sincerely apologize, and to my other defence lawyers and also to the clerks. And everyone who has a stake in this matter,” Dr Bamba expressed.