Health Minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, on Thursday, June 16 failed to show up in court to testify in a case filed by the Attorney General against former Deputy Finance Minister Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson.
Director of Public Prosecution, Yvonne Attakora Obuobisa told the court that the Minister had an urgent meeting to attend, hence his failure to show up.
“He’s in a meeting. We had a pre-trial conference. The meeting just came up.
“He has given us his word, he will be here on the 28th of June,” she said.
This did not sit well with trial Judge Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe. She questioned why the court had not been informed earlier of the absence of the Minister, and why other witnesses for the Prosecution had not been prepared to show up and testify.
“When we have been entrusted with work, we just get it done. Don’t let this be a point of confusion. Let it be your first and last. If you ever let us have a schedule like this and renege, it will not be good.
“The prosecution is cautioned that such a request will not be accepted. Should he not be available, they should be prepared to call another,” Justice Botwe said.
Mr. Agyemang Manu is the state’s third witness in the case against Dr. Forson.
Dr. Ato Forson has been charged with causing financial loss to the state over the importation of 30 ambulances that formed part of a consignment of 200 under a contract signed between the Ministry and Dubai-based firm, Big Sea Limited, in 2012.
Also charged are the former Chief Director of the Ministry, Dr. Sylvester Anemana, as well as businessman, Richard Jakpa.
The accused persons are said to have caused the state an amount of 2.37 million euros.