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Ambulance Case: High Court Orders Investigation into Unauthorized Audio Recording of Proceedings

The High Court, currently overseeing the ambulance case involving Minority Leader Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson and a businessman, has directed National Security to investigate the source of an unauthorized audio recording from a recent session.

This order follows a complaint made by Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Alfred Tuah Yeboah to the presiding judge regarding the unsanctioned recording.

Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe, who is presiding over the case, met with both the prosecution and defense lawyers in her chambers to address the Deputy A-G’s complaint. Post-discussion, Justice Asare-Botwe warned all parties against recording the proceedings. She emphasized that any future violations would result in the continuation of the trial with only the accused and their legal representatives present.

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Case Background

Dr. Forson and Jakpa face accusations of causing a financial loss of €2.37 million to the state in a transaction involving the purchase of 200 ambulances between 2014 and 2016. They have both pleaded not guilty to charges of willfully causing financial loss, abetment, violation of the Public Procurement Act, and intentional misapplication of public funds.

According to the Attorney-General’s accompanying facts, in 2009, then-President Prof. John Evans Atta Mills announced plans to acquire new ambulances to enhance the National Ambulance Service. Jakpa, representing Big Sea General Trading Limited, a Dubai-based company, proposed to the Ministry of Health that he had secured financing from Stanbic Bank for 200 ambulances.

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Parliament subsequently approved the financing agreement between the government and Stanbic Bank. On November 19, 2012, Dr. Anemana wrote to the Public Procurement Authority (PPA) seeking approval to engage Big Sea through single sourcing for the ambulance supply. On August 7, 2014, Dr. Forson requested letters of credit from the Bank of Ghana, amounting to €3.95 million, to cover the cost of 50 ambulances for Big Sea.

The letters of credit were issued to Big Sea, resulting in the purchase of 30 ambulances for €2.37 million. However, these ambulances failed to meet specifications and were deemed “not fit for purpose.”

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