July 23, 2024

A businessman standing trial with one other for willfully causing financial loss to the state over the purchase of faulty ambulances to the Health Ministry, Richard Jakpa, has disclosed that the Attorney-General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, had described the people from the Central Region to him as “cheap.”

The revelation, which was made in court Thursday, June 13, 2024, during proceedings preceding a ruling on the adoption or otherwise, of an audio recording between Richard Jakpa and Godfred Dame, came up as part of the allegations the third accused was making against the A-G.

Jakpa had disclosed to the court that the A-G had told him his intention to get Ato Forson jailed was due to the pressure that was being mounted on him by the President and Finance Minister.

He says Mr. Dame had informed him that the President and Finance Minister had told him to get Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson’s seat declared vacant in Parliament by the first week of May.

He avers when he asked why the first week of May, Jakpa says Dame told him that is what would make the conditions satisfy the six months period required to organise a by-election after a seat had been declared vacant.

Richard Jakpa made the disclosure at an  Accra High Court Thursday, June 13, 2024, when the court was about to rule on the adoption or otherwise of the audio recording containing voices of the two persons –Richard Jakpa and Godfred Dame –into evidence.

“…It was then he (A-G) told me my brother, I am under pressure and I said, that is not my problem. Then he (A-G) said the Finance Minister and the President are on my neck mounting pressure. They want this case to be finished by the first week in May”, Richard Jakpa said in court.

The third accused says he asked Godfred Dame “why the first week in May?” for which he responded “you may not know but according to the Constitution, you cannot have a by-election six [months] to general election.”

Jakpa continued that, the A-G convinced him that “if I can cooperate with him and get Ato Forson just one month in Nsawam, his seat will be declared vacant and we will go for by-election.”

According to the businessman, when he asked the Attorney-General how the government was going to win the polls in the Central region, Jakpa told the court the A-G said “Central region they are cheap, we will pump money in it and we will win the election.”

He added that the intent of the prosecution, according to Godfred Dame, was to win the Minority Leader’s seat in the Central Region, so that the “NDC will come and beg us for pardon and we will use it to get our things to get through in Parliament.”

Meanwhile, the court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, Thursday, June 13, 2024, admitted into evidence for the purpose of fairness, an audio recording between the A-G and one of the accused, Richard Jakpa, where the A-G was coercing him to delay the process by lying to the court for being ill, so that he the A-G would return from his trip before the matter was ruled.

Dr. Ato Forson, Sylvester Anemana and private businessman Richard Jakpa are standing trial for willfully causing a financial loss of €2.37 million to the state through a contract to purchase 200 ambulances for the Ministry of Health, among other charges.

The state, has, however, discontinued the case against Sylvester Amemana on health grounds.

SOURCE: onuaonline.com

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