€2.7m ambulance case:  Judge advises A-G to recuse himself… dismisses accused’s applications

Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, a Court of Appeal Judge, has ad­vised the Attorney-Gen­eral (A-G) and Minister for Justice, Mr Godfred Yeboah Dame, to recuse himself from the ongoing €2.7 million ambu­lance case, involving the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, and Richard Jakpa.

Justice Asare-Botwe, who is sit­ting with additional responsibility as High Court judge, cited alleged professional and prosecutorial misconduct as the basis for her advice to Mr Dame to stay away from the case.

The judge gave the advice as she dismissed four applications filed by the accused to stay proceedings, order for enquiry into the conduct of the Attorney-General, order for mistrial, and a motion to stop the prosecution of the accused.

She admitted into evidence, the alleged audio recording between Mr Jakpa, third accused, and the Attorney-General which had become the basis for the applicants to seek mistrial.

Justice Asare-Botwe said it was her considered opinion that the court was not the appropriate forum to conduct enquiry into the conduct of the A-G, and urged the applicant to seek redress at the General Legal Council, if they were minded to do so.

Dr Forson is standing trial for allegedly signing Letters of Credit (LC) for the procurement of 200 ambulances for the government of Ghana.

On Tuesday, June 3, Justice Asare-Botwe, did not take oral arguments from counsel of the applicants and the A-G in respect of the four motions filed by the lawyers and the affidavit in opposi­tion, except an objection raised by Mr Thadeus Sory, counsel for Mr Jakpa.

Mr Sory had argued that the Principal State Attorney, who de­posed to the affidavit in opposition filed by the A-G on grounds that the deponent was not ceased with the information to depose to the affidavit.

He said the A-G’s affidavit which was filed on May 31, 2024, failed to disclose the source of the information in respect of the matters contained in the affidavit, specifically the matters relating to the third accused direct interac­tions with the A-G.

Mr Sory told the court that the averments of his client related to matters, which were not in the personal knowledge of the Princi­pal State Attorney and therefore, the deponent’s affidavit was inad­missible on grounds of hearsay.

However, the A-G said that the objection was completely unfounded and without any merit, arguing that it was not accu­rate for Mr Sory to say that the despondent did not disclose the source of information.

The A-G said that the deponent had indicated that the matters he referred to in the affidavit came to his knowledge in the course of his work.

The facts are that Dr Forson and the other accused allegedly breached the procurement law in the purchase of the ambulances.

Mr Dame, prosecuting, said that on August 7, 2014, Dr Forson wrote to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) “urgently requesting to establish the Letters of Credit for the supply of 50 ambulanc­es amounting to €3,950,000, representing 25 per cent of the contract sum, while arrangements were being made to perfect and sign the loan agreement in favour of Big Sea.”

He said on August 12, 2014, Dr Forson wrote to the Controller and Accountant-General authoris­ing the release of GH¢806,688.75 to the Minister of Health for the payment of bank charges covering the establishment of Letters of Credit (LCs) for the supply of 50 Mercedes Benz ambulances and related services.


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