Member of Parliament for Assin Central, Kennedy Ohene Agyapong, has raised objections over government’s decision to prosecute former Deputy Minister for Finance, Dr. Cassel Ato Forson for allegedly causing financial loss to the state.
The former deputy minister under the erstwhile National Democratic Congress administration and two others made up of a former Chief Director at the Health Ministry, Sylvester Anemana, and a businessman, Richard Jakpa, have been accused of willfully causing financial loss to the State, contravening the Procurement Act, and misapplying public property. This is with regards to their respective roles in the purchase of some 200 state ambulances under the Mahama regime.
But speaking on his Madina-based Oman FM, Kennedy Agyapong who is a member of the ruling New Patriotic Party broke ranks with his party insisting that the prosecution of the former deputy minister is wrong.
“I disagree with Ato Forson’s own. Yes, the truth will kill me because if you say someone is a minister for finance and a different ministry brings their contract for him to establish an LC (Letter of Credit) and you say this now, then-current ministers hailing this must be careful.
According to Kennedy Agyapong, it was not the responsibility of Dr. Ato Forson to ensure the delivery of the contract but rather the contracting ministry.
“In principle, if you tell me Ato Forson is causing financial loss to the state because he established an LC for a ministry, it is not his responsibility to check whether the goods were delivered or not. It is the responsibility of that particular ministry on whose behalf he established the LC to check. So for me, if that is the only basis for accusing him of causing financial loss to the state, I disagree,” Kennedy Agyapong said.
While arguing his position, Kennedy Agyapong raised issues with the idea of charging ministers with causing financial loss to the state saying, “when that happens you are not empowering the ministers to sign any agreement again. Because they will take a cue from Ato Forson.
“Personally, I have always had an issue the charge of causing financial loss to the state, honestly,” he added.
Meanwhile, the three accused persons have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.