Jakpa draws the battle lines: I’ll never forgive Godfred Dame

Businessman, Mr Richard Jakpa, has told the Accra High Court that he has declared war on Godfred Yeboah Dame, Attorney-General (A-G) and Minister for Justice for using his law skills to try innocent citizens like him.

According to Jakpa, the battle lines between him and the A-G have been drawn and that whether he is jailed or acquitted, that battle will continue to be waged, since Mr. Dame has caused him to lose millions of dollars, destroy his businesses, as well as his international connections.

Mr. Jakpa, 3rd accused (A3) in the ongoing ambulance trial, told the trial judge, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, while being cross-examined by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Mrs. Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, that he does not see the A-G as a human being, but an evil man who he has no respect for.

A3 said the A-G lied and misled the court while arguing against his bail application that the huge sums of money paid to Big Sea Medical was given to him, and for that reason he was slapped with a harsh bail bond of GH¢5 million, with three sureties, one to be justified with a landed property.

The Court heard that the A-G had apologised to him because he did not know that Jakpa was Justice Kulendi’s brother, but A3 said that the apology cannot hold, as it is abuse of his prosecution powers.

Hitherto, A3 said Dr. Cassiel Ato Baah Forson and Dr. Sylvester Anemana, who were facing multiple charges, were given self-recognisance bail and GH¢1 million bail respectively, whereas he was given a harsher bail condition, despite facing a single count.

“He (Dame) can never be my friend and to eternity…and so far as I’m concerned there is a war between us (Jakpa and Dame),” A3 declared.

And again, if the A-G will be using his law skills to be prosecuting innocent people (like Jakpa), then he, Jakpa, will not shy away from deploying the arsenals of the underworld against Mr. Dame, in order to pay him back.

Furthermore, if the A-G knows the law, he also knows the streets, by which the battle lines were drawn right in court, to test who will survive. To Jakpa, the A-G has stripped him off everything he has ever owned, hence his anger.

Per Jakpa’s testimony before the court, these were events that happened in the presence of Justice Yonny Kulendi in his house.

According to him, even though the justice of the Supreme Court later attempted to calm A3 down by jokingly telling Jakpa that he knows him (Jakpa) to be a diabolical man, and knows what he (A3) can do, therefore, he (A3) should put it behind him, the accused refused to heed  his (judge) advice.

Additionally, if the A-G had limited their communication to Justice Yonny Kulendi’s house, Jakpa would not have recorded him, because it’s against family ethics to record secret conversations.

But since the A-G could not achieve his aim on March 25, 2024 after a heated argument that ensued between them, he chose to call him on phone on the morning of March 26, 2024 while they were going to court.

The court heard that most of their exchanges were tainted with unprintable words, and as a result, Justice Kulendi reprimanded A3 for talking in that manner to Mr. Dame, because he is the Attorney-General.

Evil Terkper and Sherry Ayittey

A3 said he suggested to Mr. Dame to use him as a prosecution witness, since it was the evil plan of Seth Terkper, former minister of Finance and the late Sherry Ayittey, former minister of Health, which had occasioned the instant trial.

He said it was Seth Terkper, then a deputy minister of Finance and late Sherry Ayittey who sabotaged the ambulance contract. Jakpa even recounted an encounter between the three of them, which resulted in disagreement, after which the late Sherry Ayittey wrote to Big Sea to halt the production of the ambulance.

To him, if the A-G was interested in trying anybody at all, it should have been these individuals and Dr. Sylvester Anemana (A2), former Director of the Ministry of Health, who has been discharged due to ill health.

I don’t trust the judge

A3 also told the court that he had communicated to the A-G that he did not trust the judge, hence did not want Her Ladyship Serwah Asare-Botwe to have the opportunity to decide his fate. He said the judge from the onset has been hostile to him and, therefore, he does not trust her judgment.

Richard Jakpa

In case he is sentenced to imprisonment, Jakpa feared that he would now have to be appealing from behind the bars and the likelihood that the A-G will no longer be picking his calls was high, therefore, he was going to fight the process to the last drop of his blood.

He said Mr. Dame had told him that he was surprised that the judge ordered him to open his defence, following her ruling on the submission of no case to answer.

A3 narrated that when he confronted the A-G on why he reneged on his promise to discharge him at the stage of the submission of no case to answer, the Minister for Justice started smiling, and said in every case there was always a collateral damage, but assured him that by the end of the trial he would be acquitted.

Reading WhatsApp messages

A3 was asked by the DPP to read the whatsApp messages between himself and the A-G. While reading, as ordered, he indicated that part of the message had been deleted.

Immediately the word deleted was mentioned,  a voice from the  prosecution side asked,  “deleted by who?”

Jakpa, after hearing ‘deleted by who’, stopped reading and started looking at the direction of the prosecution, where the A-G was seated and sandwiched by his two deputies and other team of lawyers.

Thaddeus Sory, Counsel for Jakpa, stepped in and told the court that he heard the prosecution side talking back at the accused. Regardless of his lawyer’s intervention, Jakpa still told the court that he was being heckled by the defence.

The court cautioned the prosecution, particularly the A-G, to note everything down for the DPP to put it across to the accused.

Afterwards, A3 resumed answering the question, “Please read the first page of Exhibit BE1 (WhatsApp chat between Jakpa and the A-G, tendered by the prosecution)

Reading: My Lord, the first page is dated 16th February, 2022.“Good afternoon my brother, I am Richard Jakpa, a junior bro of Justice Kulendi. You intervened to secure my bail some weeks ago. This message was deleted at 2:55. I am humbly requesting for a time and at your convenience to meet you for a brief discussion. I am most grateful for the kind gesture from you. 14:56, hope to hear from you, thank you God bless you (with emoji hand shake)”

A-G: I will arrange through your brother. Thanks.

Jakpa: And I responded that I am most grateful bro, at 19:33,with a prayer emoji, thank you at 19:33. All this took place on Feb 16, 2022. 10 messages on that day.

Q: At 14:55, you deleted a message, is that right?

A:  Yes my lord.

Q: The reason why you did not tender all the messages is that you knew that if you tendered all the messages, it’ll show to the court that you harassed the A-G with countless messages, to which he barely responded, is that not so?

A: That is not true and to debunk what she’s claiming, on February 16, 2022 I sent 10 WhatsApp messages, according to my phone records, and he responded on that day and arranged the meeting at my cousin’s house. On 9th May, 2022 I sent him a single message, which bordered on Geo-politics, how the world is governed. I belong to a group like that. Then on May 15, 2024 I sent him another message.

What she’s saying is not true because the total messages are 68 and is not factually accurate. I sent messages to the A-G that did not reflect in the document. The messages the A-G has submitted and additional messages were added to the document that I did not send to him, so to claim that I sent 68 messages to harass the A-G is not true.

Q: That will mean you sent more than 68 messages to the A-G?

A: That is not true. The messages to the A-G are not up to the 68, let alone to be more than the 68. That is, if she decides to include deleted text messages and voice calls, and deleted text messages, you add all of them they are still not up to the 68 he is claiming and text messages are different from voice calls.

Q: When you requested from page 1 of Exhibit for a private meeting with the A-G, you just sought to take advantage of your relationship with Justice Kulendi to get the A-G to agree to a private meeting with you?

A: My Lord that is completely false because if I wanted to take advantage, I would have sent that message to my cousin or called him to arrange with the A-G to meet him. I wouldn’t have sent the messages directly to the A-G, but the evidence they’ve presented to this court without any ambiguity it’s clear that I requested for a meeting private with the A-G at a time and venue of his convenience.

I gave him that discretion in my text message. Then in exercising his discretion, he opted to arrange the meeting through my cousin because he felt more comfortable dealing with me in the presence of my cousin.

There’s nowhere in my message for that meeting did I mention Kulendi’s name or my cousin’s name. It is the A-G who roped in Justice Kulendi into the private meeting he the A-G has agreed to have with me. Kulendi was not involved in deciding where the A-G and myself should have the meeting. The records presented today, by the A-G is self explanatory.

Q: The A-G never arranged for any private meeting with you from the exhibits?

A: He used the word arrange, what is attributed to me documented here on Exhibit 10 is a request for a meeting not an arrangement for a meeting, the two are different. The A-G had the option to decline my request to him for a private meeting knowing very well that his legal profession and its ethics do not allow him to arrange for a meeting.

Q: So the bottom-line is you wanted the A-G to stop prosecuting you. Isn’t it

A:  My lord, I wanted the A-G to stop abusing his discretionary powers capriciously, whimsically and with vindictiveness on innocent Ghanaians. Because deep within me and with the knowledge in the of the ambulance project, I was 100 per cent convinced that I was innocent and A1 was innocent and the only person that had a case to answer if there was any financial loss at all it was A2. So I saw it as a responsibility to request a meeting to put the case and the facts before him and appeal to his conscience to do what is right.

Q: And to prove your innocence you did not go to the lawyer but went to the “abuser”?

A: To borrow her words, the said “abuser” is a lawyer and the A-G of this Republic and he’s the number one enforcer of our laws and the ethics of our legal system. I am not a lawyer to have known that I couldn’t communicate with my “abuser” who’s the A-G and that I should pass it through my lawyer.

On hindsight, I have now found out that it should have been the A-G upon the receipt of my request for the meeting to have told me that I cannot communicate or have a meeting with you because I am the very person prosecuting you and it’s against our legal ethics, so contact your lawyer to get to me. He never did that. So the A-G cannot put the blame on me, who is not learned like him.


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