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Ambulance case trial: Jakpa reveals what Kweku Agyeman Manu told him

The third accused in the ongoing ambulance case trial has told the High Court in  Accra that he was told in the face by the former minister for Health Kweku Agyeman Manu that, their businessmen are going to order their own version of ambulances so that they can make money.

With this in mind, Jakpa said the former Minister said, the NDC businessmen who started the initiative should come and clear their own mess.

The businessman also told the Court that, Mr Agyeman Manu told him that the issues about the ambulance were no more in his hands but in the headquarters of his party.

“The Minister of Health, Hon. Agyemang Manu (PW3) told me in my face that he has seen the letter (Exhibit 18 for A3) in the Ministry and that I must understand that this is a new government and the ambulance case had been taken out of his hands and it is now being handled by his party’s headquarters and that they are also going to get their businessmen to order new ambulances so that they can make money for their businessmen so NDC will have to come back and clear their mess,” Mr Jakpa told the Court.

“And true to it, he refused to implement these two documents and they went ahead and ordered the same Mercedes Benz Van 311, the same brand, the same model and got a third-party company because Mercedes as a manufacturer does not produce ambulances, they only produce vans.

“A third-party company which converts vans of any manufacturer in the world into ambulances like Big Sea also converted these Mercedes Benz vans into ambulances, shipped them to Ghana,” he stated.

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Dr Ato Forson, the current minority leader in parliament, and businessman Richard Jakpa have been accused of willfully causing financial loss to the republic to the tune of 2.37 million euros through the purchase of ambulances.

They have pleaded not guilty and are standing trial.

Mischief

When asked if any claim by “the prosecution that the ambulances are not fit for purpose,” he said that claims would be “very mischievous,” he answered in the affirmative.

“Very mischievous and it was deliberately orchestrated allegation to sabotage the ambulance project since it originated from the previous government and I say this because, on an assumption of governance by the current government in 2017, I personally went to the office of the Minister of Health, Hon. Agyemang Manu and implored him to take steps to clear the accessories because all the issues surrounding the ambulances implementation problems had been resolved by his predecessor, Hon. Alex Segbefia before He, Hon. Agyemang Manu took office and I showed him the letter and that is Exhibit 18 for A3,” the businessman explained.

He added that, “I showed Exhibit 18 for A3 to Hon. Agyemang Manu and with the permission of the court, I want to read it. (A3 reads to the court).”

“This letter is the last letter that solved all the problems that we had in this ambulance project right from 2012 up to 14th December 2016 before this current government took over power. The current government was to implement this letter and to also implement the addendum which solved all the problems of the ambulance project and also the court’s order instructing the government to establish the rest of the LC (Letter of Credit) for the 170 ambulances in the name of Jakpa@Business Limited and not in the name of Big Sea.

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“I showed this letter to the Minister of Health, Hon. Agyemang Manu, and made it clear to him that there was no issue with this ambulance handed over by the previous government to the new government and that the previous government had taken steps to rectify and solve all the implementation hiccups that was occasioned by the Minister of Health, Hon. Sherry Areetey and the Minister of Finance, Hon. Seth Terkper and all that was left was for this new government to implement these two documents and the allegations they were leveling on all their radio stations was m u c h ado about nothing and all that was left for the the Minister of Health, Hon. Agyemang Manu to proceed and implement the letter Exhibit 18 for A3 and the addendum to the main contract.

“The Minister of Health, Hon. Agyemang Manu (PW3) told me in my face that he has seen the letter (Exhibit 18 for A3) in the Ministry and that I must understand that this is a new government and the ambulance case had been taken out of his hands and it is now being handled by his party’s headquarters and that they are also going to get their businessmen to order new ambulances so that they can make money for their businessmen so NDC will have to come back and clear their mess.

“And true to it, he refused to implement these two documents and they went ahead and ordered the same Mercedes Benz Van 311, the same brand, the same model, and got a third-party company because Mercedes as a manufacturer does not produce ambulances, they only produce vans.

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“A third-party company which converts vans of any manufacturer in the world into ambulances like Big Sea also converted these Mercedes Benz vans into ambulances and shipped them to Ghana.

“They stayed in Ghana for one whole year parked awaiting for their accessories to also be shipped which was eventually shipped and fixed them in Ghana and distributed them which are now roaming on our streets which is no different from the ambulances that Big Sea had 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 ambulances are empty trotro,” the accused told the Court.

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