Ato Forson’s letter alone could not establish LC – prosecution witness

The second prosecution witness in the case brought against DrCassielAtoForson and two others over the purchase of some ambulances, Edward MarkweiJr, has told a Financial and Economic Court in Accra, that a letter signed by Dr. Forson requesting the Bank of Ghana to establish letters of credit in favour of Big Sea General Trading Limited of Dubai was not enough on its own to compel the Bank of Ghana to establish the letters of credit.

Former Deputy Finance Minister, DrCassielAtoForson and former Chief Director of the Ministry Health, Dr Sylvester Anemana as well as businessman, Richard Jakpa, have 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 of Health and Dubai-based firm, Big Sea Limited in 2012.

Answering questions under cross-examination by Counsel for DrForson, Dr Abdul Aziz BasitBamba, MrMarkwei told the court presided over by Justice AfiaSerwaaAsareBotcwhey, that the letter from the Finance Ministry requesting the Bank of Ghana to establish the letters of credit, needed to be backed by other documents from the supplier, Big Sea and needed to be certified by the applicant, Ministry of Health, before the LC could be established and payment made.

Pressed further by DrBamba, MrMarkwei who is head of the Trade Finance Unit of the Bank of Ghana said the most critical document required for the establishment of the LC was the proforma invoice whose content he said, was partly extracted from the contract between the Ministry of Health and Big Sea.

Mr Markwei stressed that it was not possible to establish the letters of credit without recourse to the proforma invoice.

At the last sitting of the court, the witness explained that the proforma invoice and all relevant documentation presented by Big Sea needed to be approved by the Ministry of Health and authorisation given by the same Ministry before payment could be effected.

Mr Markwei also disclosed that beyond being instructed by his superiors at the Bank of Ghana to work on establishing letters of credit following a request by the Ministry of Finance, he had no form of contact or interaction with the first accused.

Answering questions under cross-examination by Counsel for second accused, Dr. Sylvester Anemana, MrMarkwei said he did not have any proof that there was any contact between DrAnemana and Dr Forson.

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