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Ambulance Case: Here’s What Richard Jakpa has Said so far Under Cross-examination

The Ambulance purchase trial ongoing at the High Court has gathered so much controversy ever since the third accused person, Richard Jakpa made revelations of alleged misconduct against the Attorney-General Godfred Dame.

Jakpa in his first testimony under cross-examination by lawyers of Minority Leader Ato Forson (a co-accused in the case) had said three weeks ago that the Attorney-General had tried to use him to implicate Forson, in order to secure a conviction against the opposition MP.


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And so continuing his testimony on Thursday, June 13, he revealed more details about his encounters with the Attorney-General.

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Meetings with AG and the involvement of Supreme Court judge Justice Yonny Kulendi

On Thursday, Richard Jakpa told the court  that since the trial started in 2022, he had met the Attorney-General four times in person, usually at odd hours. He told the court the first two times were in 2022 at Justice Kulendi’s house who also happened to be his cousin.

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“The first meeting was around 11:30 in the night and the second meeting was somewhere in July and that one too was around 10:30 past 11. Mostly we met after 10 pm or between 9 pm to 10 pm,” he answered the questions by Forson’s lawyers.

At Justice Kulendi’s home where he met Godfred Dame for the first time, Jakpa said he had hopeful assurances from the Attorney-General that the charges against him would be dismissed.

“The first meeting I requested for the meeting. I sent a WhatsApp to him and I requested to have a private meeting at a time and venue of his convenience, then he replied he will arrange the meeting through my brother who is the Supreme Court Justice. So the particular night I was called and proceeded to his house and met him. I had enough time to explain to him the whole project and after explaining he told me that I should not be worried and I will surely be acquitted at the submission of no case.”

But that acquittal did not happen. He testified further that at subsequent meetings at Justice Kulendi’s home in March 2024, the AG had asked for his cooperation in the case and promised his acquittal again.

“It was then he told me, my brother I am under pressure and I said that was not my business. Then he said look “Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta and the President are on my neck mounting pressure. They want this case to finish by first week in May, so I asked why first week in May? Then he said you may not know, but according to the constitution, you cannot have a by-election six months to a general election so if I cooperate with him and they can get Ato Forson (A1) just one month in Nsawam, his seat will be declared vacant and they can go for by-election. Then he said NDC will come and beg us for pardon and we will use it to get our things to go through in Parliament. So I said this is about control of resources and power. You people have canceled all my contracts. You have destroyed all my business and you want me to cooperate with you, and I said as for that, I will not do it.”

Challenges Assertion that Ambulances were defective

One of the prosecution’s main arguments in the case is that the ambulances that were imported into the country are not fit for purpose. It is based on this assertion that a prima facie case was established against the accused persons.

But challenging that assertion, Jakpa told the court in testimony that he never admitted that the ambulances were not fit for purpose because they were not meant to be used in the first place.

“The post-delivery inspection report that declared the ambulance not fit for purpose is alien to Ehibit V and was not signed by both parties to be biding on Big Sea and by extension Jakpa@Business. That post-delivery inspection was conducted unilaterally by the buyer in  order to cover up the various breaches on the government’s part. It was orchestrated to sabotage the ambulance project which unfortunately has led to this court proceedings since 2022.”

Meeting with former Health Minister Kweku Ageymang Manu in 2017

He also testified about meeting former health minister Kwaku Agyemang Manu in 2017 asking that his ministry implement the agreement for the ambulance project. According to him, Agyemang Manu never badged.

“The Minister of Health Hon Agyemang Manu told me in my face that I must understand this is a new government and the ambulance case has been taken out of his hands and is now being handled by his party’s headquarters and that they are also going to get their businessmen to order new ambulances so that they can make money for their businessmen so NDC will have to come back and clear their mess.”

The cross-examination continues on Tuesday, June 18, where Attorney-General Godfred Dame will take his turn to ask questions.

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has maintained that the case is absolutely a political witchhunt. They have also called for the sacking of the AG amid accusations of witness tampering.

State prosecutors who initiated the case however believe that Ato Forson, who was then Deputy Finance Minister when the agreement to purchase the ambulances was made has a case to answer for signing Letters of Credit without authorisation from his boss, then-Finance Minister Seth Tekpe.

 

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