Accessories for 30 ambulances cleared by gov’t can’t be traced –Jakpa

Businessman Richard Jakpa says the accessories for the 30 ambulances cleared by the government from the port cannot be traced.

Previously, the assertion was that the accessories of the ambulances are still at the Tema Port, but the local agent of Big Sea says otherwise.

According to him, the government have cleared the accessories and failed to notify the manufacturer, as per the contract.

Godfred Yeboah Dame, AG

Jakpa told the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, during   cross examination conducted by Godfred Yeboah Dame, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, that since Big Sea was not notified to fix the accessories in the vans, they would certainly not be fit for purpose.

The court was told that per the contract signed with the Government of Ghana, the ambulances could only be used after official handing over.

When it was suggested to him (Jakpa) that two years after the shipment of the ambulances from Dubai, Big Sea failed to rectify the abnormalities for the benefit of the purchaser, Mr. Jakpa, third accused (A3), described the assertion as false.

The A-G also contended that when the ambulances arrived in Ghana, they were defective in every aspect, hence could not be used to support the health delivery system of the purchaser.

But A3 argued that the manufacturer and its agent expected the ambulances to be cleared and kept at a safe place until  50 of them had been delivered, after which  the accessories and paramedics would be trained by Big Sea Engineers, before  the vehicles would be ready for use.

The third Accused further stated that the challenges with the ambulance contract arose when the then Ministers for Health and Finance, Sherry Ayittey and Seth Terkper, respectively thwarted the process.

Mr. Dame then asked A3 if as an agent he could claim 28.7% which is approximately €700,00 of the contract sum,  how much did his Principal receive.

The accused in response said he was not in the position to tell because he is not the CEO or staff of Big Sea in Dubai.

The A-G again told the accused that Big Sea could not deliver to the nation genuine ambulances

because he (A3) took about 50% of the €2.3 million paid to his Principal under the ambulance contract.

In response, A3 said by the time that the defaults were rectified the van that were specified by the government to be converted into ambulance was out of production by Mercedes Benz in Stuttgart, Germany.

In order for jakpa@business and Big Sea to keep a good faith with the Ghanaian government, it offered to convert the new version of Benz vans, 311, which is bigger and more expensive than the 309 that was initially agreed upon in the contract.

He said the Benz van 309 at the time of the contract was selling at €79,000 as against the 311, which was selling between US$137,000 and US$138,000.

A3 said the Benz 311 is the same module the government had converted into ambulance currently.

According to him, he was convinced to bear the difference of the new ambulance cost and recoup during servicing.

Furthermore, he said the ambulance specifications and cost went through Cabinet and parliamentary approval, which members of both sides of the House voted on, based on their conscience, before the Public Procurement Authority gave its approval for sole sourcing.

Dame then told him that nowhere in the A-G’s legal advice was the Ministry for Finance authorised to establish the Letters of Credit (LC), but A3 again disagreed.

A3 went crackers when AG told him that nowhere in the contract was it agreed that a vehicle should be converted into an ambulance.

Jakpa, in answering the question, pointed to a document before the court with the heading: “Specifications of Conversion” and ended his answer, telling the court that Mr. Dame should read the documents properly. The A-G, in his fiery response, told Mr. Jakpa that “I read more than you.”

Mathematics and controversy 

The A-G again told Jakpa that Dr. Cassiel Baah Ato Forson (A1) wrote letters for establishment of Letters Credit (LCs) in a matter of six days apart, thus between 7th and 12th August, 2018.

“Calculating from 7 to 12 is five days and not seven,” A3 shot back, with the AG responding that his answer was even better.

Mr Dame then pointed out to the accused that the first batch of 10 ambulances arrived in Ghana on November 25, 2014 but A3 said it was in January 2015.

However, a document from Big Sea to A3’s company, which content was read to the court by the addressee, confirmed A-G’s claim.

It was the prosecution’s case that Letters of credit were established before the arrival of the ambulances at the Tema port. A3 responded affirmative, indicating that the point of negotiation per the contract is Dubai Jabel Ali Port and not Tema Port, hence the establishment of LC before the arrival of the vehicles.

He also said the €15 plus million lodged in Ghana International Bank account is an opening and closing balance and that, as at November 25, 2014 no advancement had been made to Big Sea. A3 said what the A-G was referring to were monies paid to Big Sea as bank charges.

Jakpaalso said a letter written by Madam Sherry Ayittey (late) to arrest further production of the ambulance was moot and rendered irrelevant by the advice of the Attorney-General Department.

He added that Alex Segbefia, former minister for health’s letter describing the ambulances as defective was also resolved.


In course of the cross examination, Jakpa told the court that he answers questions not in a dictating way and that  the A-G always  interjects whenever he attempts to do so.

The A-G in response said instead of long winding answers he should go straight to the point.


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