Seth Tekper never denied knowledge of the establishment of LC – Witness

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Former finance minister, Seth Tekper

Mr Rickson Gyimah, an investigator with the Office of the Special Prosecutor, says Mr Seth Tekper, a former finance minister, has never denied knowledge of the establishment of the letters of credit as stated in the Ambulance contract.

The witness said per investigations and a statement from Mr Terkper, he never accepted authorizing Dr Ato Forson, Former Deputy Minister for the authorisation of the establishment of the letters of credit.

Dr Forson and two others are in court for allegedly wilfully causing financial loss to the State.
Dr Forson was granted a self-recognisance bail of GH¢3 million for allegedly wilfully causing 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, a bail of one million Ghana Cedis with three sureties one of whom shall be a public servant not below the rank of a director.
While Mr Richard Dzakpa, a Businessman, was also granted bail of five million Ghana Cedis with three sureties one of whom must be justified with documents of landed property.

Mr Gyimah, who used to be with the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) during the investigation in the case, after reading his witness statement in open court, tendered it in evidence.

In a cross-examination led by Godwin Edudzi Tamakloe, one of the lawyers for Dr Forson, the witness tendered a statement from EOCO from the former Finance Minister without objection.

Asked, whether in the statement to EOCO, it was not clearly stated, who the Head of the Ministry was and the Ministry was the one that requested for the establishment of the letters of credit, the witness agreed indicating that was what was stated.

Mr Tamakloe asked the witness that during the period of their investigations, was there any time that they invited the former Controller and Accountant General for interrogation, the investigator said his team went to the Office to invite the schedule Officer but had information that he had retired.

Mr Gyimah said the investigation team never took any information from the former Controller and Accountant General during the investigations.

The Counsel asked the witness, whether he had seen a said letter from the Deputy Controller and Accountant General to the Bank of Governor on the request for the establishment of the letter of credit based on Dr Forson’s letter, Mr Gyimah said the Deputy Controller and Accountant General letter made a reference to the letter from the Ministry.
The witness indicated that without authorisation from the Ministry of Finance, the Controller and Accountant General could not write to the Bank of Ghana for the establishment of the letters of credit.

He said on the face of the letter, Dr Forson was not mentioned but the letter from the Deputy Controller and Accountant General referred to him.

Mr Gyimah said investigations revealed that Dr Forson did not adhere to the advice from the Attornet-General on the contract and according to the terms of the contract, there was no need for advance payment.

“Payment must be made upon the delivery of the first batch of the ambulance before a letter of credit is established,” he said.

The case was adjourned to January 10, 2023, for continuation. The Next witness will be an Officer from the Ministry of Finance.

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