Former Health Minister, Alex Segbefia has clarified that he was not in court to testify in the €2.37million ambulance case because he had not been required to be there.
The Minority Leader, Dr. Casiel Ato Forson, concluded his case in the ambulance saga on Thursday, November 16, 2023.
At a previous sitting, he had intended to get the court to summon Mr. Segbefia as his third witness, but Mr. Segbefia was absent.
“The first accused wishes to inform the court that we’re calling no further witness, and we’re closing our case,” Dr. Ato Forson’s lawyer, Edudzi Tameklo, informed the court.
But Mr. Segbefia told Umaru Sanda Amadu in an interview on Eyewitness News on Citi FM on Thursday that “I wasn’t required. I am not a prosecution witness because the prosecution has called on its witnesses and closed its case. I was deemed going to be a defence witness for Casiel Ato Forson, and I was allegedly supposed to be in court today. I was also hearing that there was a witness summons for my attendance. I have never been summoned; I have not received a witness summons, so I was not due in court.”
He further explained that “Because of the noises in the media, I took it upon myself to contact those in the case to see whether I was required, and I was informed that I would not be required to give evidence for the defence and therefore I would not be required to be in court.”
Mr. Segbefia, however, noted that he would have been there if he were asked to.
Meanwhile, the former Chief Director of the Health Ministry, Dr. Sylvester Anemana, the second accused, has now initiated his defence in the Financial and Economic Court 2.
The judge stated, “A1 has closed his case; hence, A2 has been directed to open his defence.”
Lawyers for the first and third accused did not object to the witness statement filed by A2, paving the way for cross-examination by state attorneys.
Dr. Anemana stated in his witness statement that he was transferred to the Ministry of Environment and was not privy to the processes leading to the ambulance purchase after his exit from the health ministry.
He told the court that he retired from the Environment ministry. “I retired from the service in September 2015 when some ambulances were purchased. I do not see any financial loss to the state in a contract that hasn’t materialised even until today,” Dr. Anemana stated.
He told the court that he retired from the Environment ministry.
“I retired from the service in September 2015 when some ambulances were purchased. I do not see any financial loss to the state in a contract that hasn’t materialised even until today,” Dr. Anemana stated.
Lawyers for the first accused concluded his cross-examination, suggesting Dr. Ato Forson played no role in the contract.
Lawyers for the third accused informed A2 that the 15.8 million Euros was a loan for 200 ambulances secured from Stanbic. This was affirmed by A2.
Dr. Anemana asserted that the process of securing the loan started while he was at the health ministry. The third accused informed A2 that no money was paid directly to his client, Dzakpa until a high court directed so.
Lawyers for A2 applied for an amendment of bail terms to allow for Dr. Anemana to access medical treatment in India.
The judge questioned the application’s merit, rejected it, and Mr. Owuradu, his lawyer withdrew it with the hope of resubmitting later. The judge struck out the application seeking the release of A2’s passport.