Businessman Richard Jakpa one of the two remaining persons who are standing trial for allegedly causing financial loss to the State in the purchase of some ambulances has denied such claims.

He described that assertions by the Prosecution as “not proper” adding that, his prosecution was in “bad faith.”

Mr. Jakpa together with Dr. Ato Forson, former Deputy Finance Minister and now the Minority Leader in Parliament are standing trial for wilfully causing a 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 willfully causing financial loss to the state, abetment of crime, contravention of the Public Procurement Act, and intentionally misapplying public property.

Dr. Forson was granted a GHc3 million self-reconnaissance bail, while businessman, Richard Jakpa was granted a bail of GHc5 million bail with three sureties one of whom must be justified with documents of a landed property.

Dr. Sylvester Anemana, a former Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, who was the 2nd Accused, had had health concerns and had since been discharged following Attorney General Nolle Prosequi,

In court on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, while concluding on the reading of his 134-paragraphed Witness Statement (evidence-in-chief), he said “It is clearly not proper to contend that government has suffered financial loss when government still has the benefit of the ambulances which are in government’s possession.”

Mr. Jakpa, who is standing trial together with former Deputy Finance Minister for Finance, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, said he had “no business transaction with the State or even Big Sea.”

Assigning reasons for his position as to the charge against him not being proper, he said “Government or Big Sea also did not contract me to play any role whatsoever in the transaction from which the present proceedings result.”

It was also the case of Mr Jakpa, the third accused person that, he is “not an officer of Big Sea or government.”

The 3rd Accused also told the Court that, “It is JBL which has relationships with Big Sea and not the government.”

“I am just a director and shareholder of JBL unless there is a special reason for making me personally the accused person in this case, and the prosecution has established none, my prosecution is not proceeded with in good faith,” he submitted.

Mr Jakpa also told the Court in the concluding part of his Evidence-in-Chief through his Witness State that, “even with JBL, it (JBL] is merely a commissioned agent of the said Big Sea company which acted as an agent for Big Sea for a fee.”

The third accused also posited that “neither I nor JBL had any responsibility/obligation under the contract between GoG and Big Sea in the delivery of the ambulances.”

“All payments made were made directly to Big Seathrough an Irrevocable Transferable Letter of Credit (LC).

“Payments made to JBL were made pursuant to court orders which are still valid and not set aside,” the accused told the Court.

He added that the ambulances have been duly supplied and “an agreement reached to rectify all defects if any.”

“The accessories to rectify all defects have since the year 2016 been shipped to the government,” he told the Court.

He also said, “The government has accepted the ambulances because the government has not rejected them.”

EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah is reporting that Mr. Jakpa is facing cross-examination from lawyers of Dr. Ato Forson before the High Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Justice of the Court of Appeal.

Source: Ghana/ Inusah