Ato Forson, Others Granted Bail; NAM1’s Auction Motion Set For Jan. 19, 2022

An Accra High Court has granted Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, a Former Deputy Minister of Finance, a self-recognisance bail of GHC3 million for allegedly willfully causing financial loss of 2,370,000 euros to the State.

Dr Forson, who pleaded not guilty, 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).”

The Court also granted Dr Sylvester Anemana, a Former Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, a bail of one million Ghana Cedis with three sureties one of whom shall be a public servant not below the rank of a

Mr Richard Dzakpa, a Businessman, who is the third accused person, was also granted bail of five million Ghana Cedis with three sureties one of whom must be justified with documents of landed property.

Dr Anemana, also pleaded not guilty to abetment of crime namely – willfully causing financial loss to the Republic contrary to section 20(1) and 179 A(3)(a) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), while Mr Dzakpa pleaded not guilty to the charge of “Contravention of the Public

Procumbent Act, 2003, contrary to section 92 (2) (b) of the Public Procurement Act, 2003 (Act 663).”

The accused persons have been ordered to deposit their passports at the Court Registry by 2pm on Wednesday, January 19, 2022.

The Prosecution has also been directed to file and serve accused persons and their lawyers with disclosures by February 8, 2022.

Earlier, Mr Godfred Dame Yeboah, the Attorney General, told the Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, that the prosecution was not opposed to the bail.

He said Dr Forson was a public officer, adding, “I suggest that he is given a self-recognizance bail.”

The A-G said for the others he prayed that they were given a bail that commiserated with the offence.

He said the prosecution intended to call five witnesses.

Justice Asare-Botwe said already the parties had limited days, and cautioned counsels not to unduly delay the case, as she would not hesitate to report them to the general legal council.

The case has been adjourned to February 15, 2022.

In other court news, the Financial and Economic Division of the High Court has given the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) the green light to auction the properties of the defunct gold firm, Menzgold Ghana Limited.

In January 2019, the Financial and Economic Crimes Division of the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Helen Amoah, froze the assets of Menzgold following a motion by EOCO.

The affected entities were Zylofon Art Complex, Brew Marketing Consult, Star Madrid Football Club, Zylofon Music and Media Company Limited, Brew Energy Company Limited and G-Tech Automobile

Also, two properties located at Trassaco Valley, an uncompleted residential property and 510 acres of land said to belong to NAM 1 were also frozen by the court.

The move by the Financial and Economic Crimes Division of the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, followed a motion filed by EOCO praying the court to allow it to auction the properties of the defunct company.

Moving the motion Tuesday, lawyer for EOCO, Mr Abu Issa, submitted that EOCO and other law enforcement agencies investigated Menzgold and found out that it had engaged in money laundering and other serious offences.

Justice Asare-Botwe granted the motion and said the court’s order for the auctioning of Menzgold’s properties would be ready Wednesday (January 19, 2021).

EOCO also froze some landed properties belonging to the CEO and his firms, and then directed all its regional directors to look out for such assets in the various regions where Menzgold and its related businesses operated.

By: Isaac Clottey

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