€2.37m Ambulance Case: I Met Dame In Kulendi’s House – Jakpa


The businessman at the centre of the €2.37 million ‘defective’ ambulances case, Richard Jakpa, has admitted to the court that his meetings with the Attorney General, Godfred Yeboah Dame, were at the home of Justice Yonny Kulendi, a Justice of the Supreme Court who is the cousin of the accused.

He also told the court that he requested the meeting with the Attorney General, stating that “I requested for the meeting at a time and venue of his convenience and he replied he will arrange though my brother who is the Supreme Court Judge.”

The accused said the purpose of the meeting was for him to explain to the Attorney General the whole genesis of the ambulance project and also raise concerns about the charges against him which he describes as “unfounded.”

This revelation confirmed information sources earlier provided that the Attorney General had never met the accused anywhere outside of the courtroom except at the home of the Supreme Court Judge.


Secret Recording

The court has admitted a secretly recorded conversation between the embattled businessman and the Attorney General “for what it is worth.”

Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe dismissed an objection by the prosecution against the admission of the recording, and held that the court will determine what weight it would place on it in the determination of the case.



Minority Leader, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, and Richard Jakpa, are standing trial for willfully causing 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 ambulances, according to court documents, are ordinary buses which are not fit for purpose as they do not have the needed equipment that an ambulance requires.

The main issue raised during the prosecution’s case was whether the defective vehicles were purchased in accordance with the purchase agreement approved by Parliament.

The other was whether Dr. Forson was authorised by the substantive Finance Minister or any superior officer to write a letter to the Controller and Accountant General directing the establishment of irrevocable letters of credit (LCs) which led to the payments.

Ato Forson has opened and closed his defence refuting the charges, and Former Minister of Finance, Seth Terkper, has appeared before the court to testify that he gave his then deputy the approval to generate the letters of credit although he could not provide the court with any document specifically pointing to his authorisation.


Jakpa Meets AG

Jakpa, while under cross examination by counsel for Dr. Forson, had claimed that the Attorney General had impressed on him to implicate the Member of Parliament (MP) in order to secure his conviction.

Counsel for Dr. Forson has tendered the secret recording in evidence after the court admitted it on ground that in the spirit of reciprocity, the court may likely admit a similar evidence if it was coming from a state agency .

The court, however, indicated that it was up to it to determine the weight that would be placed on it in the determination of the case.

Jakpa, while under cross examination by Dr. Abdul Baasit Aziz Bamba, counsel for Dr. Forson, told the court that the meeting with the Attorney General was at the home of Justice Kulendi, his cousin.

He told the court that during the said meeting, he had enough time to explain to the AG the whole ambulance project, and after the explaining “he told me I’m just a mere agent and I shouldn’t worry and that I will be acquitted at the submission of no case stage.”

He also told the court that at his meeting with the Attorney General, the prosecutor asked for certain documents which he (the accused) had submitted to Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) and he sent same via WhatsApp.

He went on to make several allegations, including one that the Attorney General had told him that he was only charged because they did not want to create the impression that Ato Forson’s trial was a political witch hunt.


Absent Finance Minister

Mr. Jakpa yesterday told the court that the presence of the Minister of Finance’s security seal on the letter written by Dr. Forson requesting the establishment of the letters of credit meant he had the authorisation of the substantive minister at the time.

According to him, in his dealings with the Ministry of Finance over the years, any time his company raised a certificate of payment for services rendered to government, most often the substantive Minister of Finance is not around – he is either at cabinet meeting or gone out for international financial engagement.

He said because of that the Chief Director or any of the two deputies wrote the letters for payment but those letters in themselves cannot authorise Controller and Accountant-General or Bank of Ghana to debit government accounts.

He said the secretaries of the Chief Director or any of the two deputies would send the signed letters to the substantive minister’s secretary who would confirm from the Minister of Finance himself, and upon approval of the Finance Minister, “the confidential secretary of the minister would bring a machine that contains the authorisation security seal of the Minister of Finance affixed on the letter before Controller and Accountant-General or Governor of Bank of Ghana can proceed to implement the content of the said letter,” he told the court.

He added that without the authorisation security seal of the substantive Minister of Finance, the Controller and Accountant-General Department or Bank of Ghana will not act on any letter to debit any account of Ghana both local and international.


BY Gibril Abdul Razak