Ambulance case: the Minister of Health authorized the resumption of the project in a letter to the Ministry of Finance

Richard Jakpa, a businessman and third defendant in the trial involving former Deputy Minister of Finance, Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson, over the purchase of ambulances for the State, has claimed that the deal was approved by the then Minister of Health, Sherry Ayitey.

Jakpa stated that Minister Ayitey approved the agreement in a letter dated July 19, 2013. This letter, he mentioned, has already been submitted as evidence and marked as Exhibit 14.

In his witness statement, Mr Jakpa revealed that his company, Jakpa Business Limited, was copied on the letter because it was acting as Big Sea’s agent at the time.

He highlighted that the minister’s approval was a crucial part of the process, highlighting the legitimacy of the transaction.

“In a letter dated July 19, 2013, Big Sea wrote to the then Minister of Health, who at the time was Honorable Sherry Ayitey (May her soul rest in peace) and notified the government that the first twenty (20) ambulances were ready for shipment. Because JBL was Big Sea’s agent, JBL received a copy of this letter.”

“Big Sea, therefore, requested that, as provided in the contract, the government visit Dubai to inspect the ambulances before dispatch. This letter, as already indicated, was submitted as evidence and marked as exhibit 14,” it says an extract from his witness statement.

He also stated that the letters of credit in question bore the seal of then-Minister of Finance Seth Terkper.

Jakpa stressed that without the minister’s authentication seal the letters of credit would have been ineffective.

He further explained that this authentication seal was crucial and its presence legitimized the letters of credit. Jakpa noted that the Bank of Ghana only opened the letters of credit after receiving authorization from the then Deputy Comptroller and Accountant General.

Mr. Jakpa highlighted the procedural importance of the authentication seal, stating that it was an essential step in the process. This seal, he reiterated, validated the letters of credit and ensured their effectiveness.

“Following the documents marked as pages 2 and 3 of Exhibit AK, the former Minister of Finance (Hon. Seth Terkper) wrote to Big Sea assuring and informing him that he was in the process of finalizing the establishment of the Letter of Credit. Subsequently, The Bank of Ghana (BOG) was requested to open the LC with the authentication seal of the Minister of Finance.”

“This is confirmed by exhibit A. Subsequently the Deputy Comptroller and Accountant General finally authorized the BOG to establish the LC by exhibit B,” he added.

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