Jakpa tells court Attorney-General assured him of acquittal in Ato Forson case

Godfred Dame

Mr Richard Jakpa, a businessman Thursday told an Accra High Court that he received assurances from Attorney-General Godfred Dame Yeboah that he would be exonerated in the ambulance trial if he cooperated.

He claimed he initially believed the A-G after meeting him four times at Justice Yonni Kulendi’s residence, only for him to be made to open his defence in the trial.

In across-examination led by Dr. Abdul Basit Aziz Bamba, Jakpa told the court that the first time they met was on February 16, 2022, and that was before the A-G closed its case.

Dr Ato Forson, a former Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr Sylvester Anemana, a former Chief Director of the Ministry of Health and Jakpa are charged with causing financial loss to the State.

The State later filed a nolle prosequi to discontinue the charges leveled against Dr Anemana, who is currently out of the country for medical treatment.

Dr Forson was granted a self-recognisance bail of GH¢3 million for allegedly willfully causing financial loss of €2,370,000 to the State.

He is also facing an additional charge of “Intentionally misapplying public property contrary to section 1 (2) of the Public Property Protection Act, 1977 (SMCD140).”

Mr Jakpa was also granted bail of GH¢5 million with three sureties one of whom must be justified with documents of landed property. 

He said, “A-G told me that everything had been arranged for my acquittal.”  

He said as an assurance for his acquittal, he forwarded a lot of documents to enable the A-G to understand the contract between Big Sea and the Government of Ghana.

The documents are a letter dated February 20, 2015, a letter from the former Minister of Health, Alexander Segbefia, nominating government officials for a trip to visit the Big Sea in Dubai and an agendum of the contract.

Jakpa alleged that the A-G claimed he was under pressure to prosecute Dr Forson and that he (Jakpa) was not the target of the prosecution.       

He alleged the A-G urged him to cooperate to enable the State to jail the former Deputy Minister of Finance for his seat to be declared vacant, which would necessitate a bye-election.

Mr Jakpa said the A-G informed him that Mr Ken Ofori-Atta, a former Minister of Finance and President Nana Akufo-Addo were mounting pressure on him, and it was agreed that the case should end in the first week in May 2024.

He said when he asked him why the first week in May, the AG said he might not know but according to the Constitution, a bye-election could not be conducted six months to a general election. 

Jakpa said the A-G indicated that his cooperation was needed to jail Dr Forson, and a month’s stay in Nsawam was sufficient to declare his seat vacant and hold a bye-election.

“… I told him, that is not my problem, but I will fight you (A-G) and the judiciary to the last drop of my blood,” he added.    

Jakpa said he questioned the A-G about the NPP’s certainty that a bye-election in the Central Region would result in a win for the party. The A-G said that the voters in the Region were cheap and that the party would win if it pumped money into the race.

He said the A-G said when the NPP won the election, the NDC would beg them for pardon and “we will use it to get our things approved in Parliament.”

Meanwhile, the Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe overruled the State’s objection against the admissibility of the audio recording of the conversation between Mr Jakpa and the A-G.

The court therefore admitted the audio recordings into evidence.

It has also directed the defence to file all disclosures they would rely on during the trial.

Source: GNA

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