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Ambulance case: Court orders the arrest of businessman Richard Jakpa

The High Court in Accra has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of businessman Richard Jakpa who is standing trial together with former Deputy Minister for Finance Cassiel Ato Forson over the purchase of ambulances said to be unfit for purpose.

Mr. Jakpa, the third accused person opened his defense last Tuesday, March 19, and was expected in Court on Thursday, March 21 for further testimony.

He together with Dr. Ato Forson, the Minority Leader in Parliament and Sylvester Anemana, a former Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, (who has since been discharged following Attorney General’s Nolle Prosequi) are standing trial for allegedly wilfully causing financial loss of €2.37 million to the state, through a contract to purchase 200 ambulances for the Ministry of Health.

They have pleaded not guilty to the five counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the state, abetment of crime, contravention of the Public Procurement Act, and intensionally misapplying public property.

Dr. Forson was granted a GHc3 million self-reconnaissance bail, while Anemana was granted a bail of GHc1 million with three sureties one of whom must be a public servant not below the rank of a Director.

Businessman, Richard Jakpa on the other hand was granted a bail of GHc5 million bail with three sureties one of whom must be justified with documents of a landed property.

In Court on Thursday, March 21, 2024, when the case was called, Mr Jakpa was absent with a “purported” medical certificate to the court did not disclose the condition he is facing.

This, Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge said, the said excused duty is not acceptable to the Court.

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According to her, “this is supposed to be a medical certification, but it does not qualify as a medical certificate.”

She added that “the problem is that Mr. Jakpa does not have a counsel who I will tell something to go and tell him,” and “the only thing is that I will issue a warrant.”

“A document purporting to be an excuse duty from the …hospital was sent to the clerk of this court via WhatsApp,” the Court said.

She said, “the medical certificate does not display what condition he is on admission and is being treated for.”

Justice Asare-Botwe noted that the third accused dispensed off his lawyer two days ago and is yet to hire a new counsel.

“This court will err on the side of caution and issue a warrant for his arrest,” Justice Asare-Botwe ordered.

The Case has been adjourned to March 26, 2024.

Mr Jakpa who fired his lawyer Though has opened his defence, is yet to hire a new lawyer according to the Court’s records.

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