Dr Cassiel Ato Forson
Dr Cassiel Ato Forson

Court dismisses Ato Forson’s appeal for lack of merit

An application inviting the Court of Appeal to strike out two charges against the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson on grounds of being defective for lack of sufficient particulars has been dismissed. 


In a ruling dated June 6, a three-member panel of the second highest court, presided by Justice Philip Bright Mensah held that the charge of willfully causing financial loss and intentionally misapplying public property contained sufficient particulars as required under the 1992 Constitution and the Criminal Procedure Code, 1960 (Act 30).

“Having examined the charges under scrutiny, we find that they contain sufficient particulars as required under Article 19(2)(d) of the 1992 Constitution and Section 112 (4) of Act 30.

“We hold that this appeal is therefore without merit and accordingly dismissed,” the court ruled. Other members of the panel were Justices Janapare A. Bartels-Kwodwo and Hafisata Amaleboba.

The interlocutory appeal, which was against the trial High Court judge’s decision not to strike out the charges, was filed by Dr Forson, who has been accused jointly with a businessman of causing financial loss of €2.37 million to the state in a deal to purchase 200 ambulances for the country between 2014 and 2016.

High Court dismissal

On March 4, 2022, Dr Forson, through his lawyers, filed a motion at the High Court hearing the case asking Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe to strike out the charges against him for being defective.

Specifically, the accused wanted the court to order the prosecution to provide further details of the particulars of offence of the exact act that constitute acting without authorisation or intentional misapplication.

Dr Forson in his motion wondered whether the expression “without due cause and authorisation" as couched by the prosecution meant that when he requested the setting up of the letters of credit meant he took the decision on his own and had not been authorised by the Ministry of Finance and the Minister of Finance to do so, or that I acted in defiance of advice by legal and other experts at the Ministry of Finance”.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, opposed the motion on grounds that the accused has been given all reasonable details necessary to understand the charges brought against him.

He added that the fact that the accused does not understand the charges does not mean the charges were defective. The High Court subsequently dismissed the application on grounds that the ordinary meaning of the particulars were well known and not technical.  


Not satisfied with the ruling, Dr Forson filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal to challenge the High Court’s ruling. Lawyers for the Minority Leader argued that Justice Asare-Botwe erred in law, adding that the judge failed to give adequate consideration to Dr Forson’s case.

At the Court of Appeal, Dr Forson’s lawyers were of the view that the prosecution’s use of the term, “without due cause and authorisation” in the charge sheet without stating exactly what the conduct constitutes was in breach of the legislator’s right to be informed in a language he clearly understands as prescribed by Article 19(2)(d) of the 1992 constitution.

The prosecution on the other hand argued that the charges were properly drafted and particulars had been provided on the charge sheet.

After considering both arguments, it was the view of the Court of Appeal that after reading the entire paragraph on the particulars of the charges, “One can hardly claim that the meaning of the words ‘without due cause and authorisation’ are ‘vague or nebulous’ as the Appellant seeks to impress upon this Court”.  The application was subsequently dismissed as having no merit. 

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |

Like what you see?

Hit the buttons below to follow us, you won't regret it...