Myself & Dame Met 4 Times @ Odd Hrs …Jakpa tells court after admission of audio recordings into evidence

A Businessman, Richard Jakpa, has disclosed in the ongoing ambulance trial that he met the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Godfred Yeboah Dame, four times at odd hours, at a Supreme Court judge’s house to discuss matters related to the trial.

According to him, the meetings were held between the hours of 9:00pm and 11:00pm at the said Supreme Court judge, Justice Emmanuel Yonny Kolendi’s residence.

Richard Jakpa

Mr Jakpa also told the Accra High Court, presided over by Justice of the Court of Appeal, Her Ladyship Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, that he requested for the first meeting and the Attorney-General (A-G) arranged it through ‘his brother’, who is a Supreme Court judge.

This was made known in court yesterday during further cross-examination by Dr Abdul Baasit Aziz Bamba, after having once again admitted the secretly recorded conversation between him (A3) and the Attorney General (A-G).

Initially, A3 said he cooperated with the A-G by providing him with some critical documents relating to instant trial, on the promise that he would be acquitted at the stage of submission of no case to answer, particularly when Mr Dame had told him that his main target in the trial is Dr. Cassiel Baah Ato Forson (A1).

Mr. Jakpa, therefore, felt betrayed following the A-G’s failure to honour his part of the alleged bargain by discharging him during the submission of no case stage. The accused is in the witness box giving testimony and answering questions from Ato Forson’s lead counsel, Dr Abdul Baasit Aziz Bamba.

The third accused indicated that the problems relating to the ambulance contract were resolved long before the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took over in the year 2017, and explained this extensively to the then Minister for Health, Kweku Agyeman Manu, that no financial loss had been occasioned by the contract.

He further disclosed that despite impressing upon Mr. Manu to clear the ambulance accessories that had been shipped by Big Sea Medicals from the Tema port, to enable it send down their technicians, the then minister refused.

Mr. Manu allegedly told A3 point blank that the case had been lifted from his ministry and that the government was interested in providing that opportunity to its party folks to also make money.

To him, the trial was mischievously conceived and deliberatively orchestrated to sabotage the ambulance project, since it originated from the previous government.

“PW3 Agyeman Manu told me that he has seen the letter in the ministry, but that I must understand that this is a new government and the ambulance case has been taken out of his hands and it’s now being handled by his party’s headquarters.

“That they are also going to get their businessmen to order new ambulances so they can make money for their businessmen. So NDC will have to come back and clear their mess, and true to that, he (Agyeman Manu) refused to implement these two documents and they went ahead and ordered the same Mercedes Benz vans 311and got another company, a third party company, because Mercedes as a manufacturer doesn’t produce ambulances. They only produce vans.

“A their party company, which converts vans of any manufacturer in the world into ambulances, like Big Sea also converted this Mercedes Benz vans into ambulances, shipped them to Ghana, stayed in Ghana for one whole year, packed and awaiting for their accessories to be also shipped, which was eventually shipped and they fixed them in Ghana and distributed them, which are now roaming on our streets, which is no different from the ambulances that Big Sea has shipped and the accessories also shipped since 2016 and abandoned at the port for almost 8 years. So the claim can be made that Big Sea’s ambulances are empty trotro,” he said.

He apportioned part of the blame to Sherry Ayitey, who served as Minister for Health under the NDC government for interfering with the process, by ordering Big Sea to stall production of the ambulances, causing undue delay in the execution of the contract.

“The late Sherry Ayitey waived the Ministry’s right to conduct reshipment inspection, as stated in the contract, which had occasioned the instant trial.

“I say this because on the assumption of governance by the current government in 2017, I personally approached the Minister for Health, Agyeman Manu, and implored on him to clear the accessories at the port because Segbefia wrote a letter to the Ministry of Finance in 2016. All the issues concerning the Ambulance implementation problems had been resolved by Segbefia before he took over office. And I showed him a letter to that effect.

“I showed him Exhibit 18 for A3, to the then Minister Agyemang Manu, supply of the 200 Mercedes Benz ambulances. 30 of the ambulances with all accessories have already been supplied to the ministry; Letters of Credit (LC) should be in the name of Jakpa, in line with high court order, signed by Segbefia. The letter acknowledged all the problems with the ambulances before this current government took over power.”

Furthermore, he said the trial judge was wrong on the assertion that all parties agreed that the ambulances in the condition that they arrived were not fit for purpose, saying he had not said that.

He indicated that the ambulances upon arrival were not meant to be used immediately at the first place, until the necessary technical challenges had been addressed.

Following Jakpa’s statement, the court has ordered the defence and the prosecution not to ambush the court, but file all disclosures by close of today, June 14, 2024.




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