Monday, 17 June

Ambulance case: NDC releases tape of AG in alleged witness tampering

Attorney General Godfred Dame

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has released an audio recording it claims captures a conversation between Attorney General Godfred Dame and Richard Jakpa, the third accused in the controversial ambulance purchase trial.

This development follows Mr Jakpa's allegations in court that the Attorney General had approached him multiple times to help build a case against former Deputy Finance Minister and Minority Leader Dr Cassiel Ato Forson.

Mr Jakpa told the court that Mr Dame had engaged him at odd hours to incriminate Dr Forson.

“If he pushes me, I will open the Pandora’s box. I don’t understand why the A-G will accuse me of defending A1 [Ato Forson] when I’m here to defend myself,” Mr Jakpa said during the proceedings on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

In response, Deputy Attorney General Alfred Tuah Yeboah issued a statement dismissing these claims, asserting that it was Mr Jakpa who had repeatedly proposed plea bargaining to the Attorney General, which has not been accepted.

At a press conference on Tuesday, May 28, the NDC played a 16-minute audio tape they claim features the voices of Mr Dame and Mr Jakpa.

The party also shared screenshots of supposed WhatsApp conversations between the two.

The NDC indicated that this was the first of many pieces of evidence they plan to release.

Read below the transcript of the full tape:

You pay only after the goods have been delivered because that's also in the contract, not so? (0:07) Yes, but then the financial instrument for the project is an irrevocable letter of credit. (0:15) So that credit letter has already been sent. (0:20) No problem, but it may remind you of that letter of area.

(0:26) The contract requires that you pay by letters of credit, not so? (0:30) Yes, in addition, you should establish it upon the signing of the contract. (0:34) So already you have paid... (0:36) Upon the signing of the contract for every 50 ambulances? (0:39) Yes, upon the signing of the contract for every 50 ambulances, there was no advance compensation, advance payment. (0:48) That LC was a security that you have to establish ahead.

(0:53) No problem, upon the signing of the contract for every 50 ambulances, is this the contract for every 50 ambulances? (1:00) Pardon? (1:00) Is this the contract for every 50 ambulances? (1:04) Yes. (1:05) Is this the contract for every 50 ambulances? (1:07) The contract is for 200 ambulances in tranches of 50-50-50. (1:13) Good, hold on.

So that contract for 50 ambulances is different from this one? (1:16) No. (1:18) The contract is one contract for 200 ambulances, which has been broken down within the contract. (1:25) You establish LC for every 50 tranches, so you have 4 LC's for the 200 ambulances.

(1:31) On that part, I disagree with you. (1:34) But if you look at the terms of the contract, it's quite clear. (1:36) And it should not be difficult for you to accept because it doesn't put you in any problem at all.

(1:41) It doesn't put you into any difficulty. (1:43) You know the Minister of Finance. (1:46) So if you accept that, it doesn't put you in any difficulty.

(1:50) The problem I have in accepting that for you is that there are letters that confirm that, (1:59) both from government and from a principal, that it's for every 50 ambulances. (2:06) That confirms that. (2:08) And I'll be sending those letters in.

(2:09) So I cannot go against what the letters say and the contract say because I was the agent at that time. (2:19) So hold on. (2:19) Japan Business was the agent.

(2:22) Hold on. (2:22) Hold on. (2:23) LC's on site.

(2:26) Payments shall be in your name. (2:28) First, we said there shall be no advance payment. (2:30) Yes.

(2:31) What does advance payment mean? (2:32) What it means is that you are not there. (2:37) The supplier was not going to be paid any cash, any money for him to use in procuring all the accessories and everything to manufacture. (2:48) So the manufacturer will use his own money to buy the ambulance vans, all the accessories from across the globe.

(2:55) With the security from government being the LC. (3:00) And the LC has conditions precedence. (3:02) Hold on.

Hold on. (3:03) Yes. (3:04) They said no advance payment.

(3:13) Yes. (3:13) Advance payment means that you are paying before the goods are delivered to you. (3:16) No.

(3:16) They said no. (3:17) No advance payment. (3:18) Not that there's advance payment.

(3:20) No advance. (3:21) Meaning that you will not pay. (3:23) Yes.

(3:24) Until the goods are delivered to you. (3:25) Yes. (3:27) Yes.

(3:28) So until the goods are delivered, you don't pay at all. (3:30) You don't pay. (3:31) Also.

(3:31) Also. (3:32) Aha. (3:33) So.

(3:33) And then also, it goes ahead to say that payments shall be in a free manner. (3:38) LC is on site of goods. (3:40) In fact, what is the LC on site of goods? (3:42) What does it mean? (3:44) What LC on site of goods means is that when you ship the documents.

(3:49) When you ship the goods. (3:51) When you ship the documents? (3:51) No. (3:52) When you ship the goods.

(3:52) Sorry. (3:53) Sorry. (3:53) When you ship the goods from your port of origin, the bill of lading of the goods.

(4:02) It's what you use as. (4:04) LC on site of goods means. (4:05) Yes.

(4:06) Means when the goods have been shipped. (4:07) Have been shipped. (4:08) Not when the goods have been delivered in Ghana.

(4:10) No. (4:11) When the goods have been shipped. (4:12) Because you have gone.

(4:14) You have gone to do pre-shipment. (4:16) Aha. (4:17) So what I'm trying to explain is that.

(4:18) So you use the bill of lading. (4:21) Aha. (4:21) You use the bill of lading.

(4:22) LC on site. (4:24) You use the bill of lading. (4:27) You establish the LC after pre-shipment inspection.

(4:31) No. (4:32) There's no dispute about that. (4:34) No.

(4:34) The LC is established as soon as you sign the contract. (4:37) You establish the LC and that becomes the security comfort for the supplier to invest (4:42) his money. (4:42) It says LC on site of goods have been signed upon the signing of the contract.

(4:45) Yes. (4:46) For every 15 ambulances. (4:47) Yes.

(4:49) Yes. (4:49) Which contract is this? (4:51) It's not a contract for every 15 ambulances. (4:52) So in.

(4:54) In. (4:55) Under this main contract. (4:57) This is like the main contract.

(4:58) The main contract. (4:59) Yes. (4:59) And every.

(4:59) And every. (5:00) LC for every 50 of the 200. (5:03) You establish.

(5:03) So you can. (5:04) So the contract is not saying that government should establish one LC, which is 15.8 million (5:09) euros for the whole 200 at the go. (5:12) No.

(5:13) Government has a board contract of 15.8 million euros. (5:17) Now this contract will become the. (5:20) The ambulance will be coming in tranches of 50 ambulances.

(5:23) So you establish your LC for the 50. (5:26) When that 50 have been delivered. (5:29) And everything sorted out and handed over.

(5:31) Another LC is established for another subsequent 50 until you finish all the 200. (5:36) That is what the contract says. (5:38) So the LC that was established.

(5:41) Even then. (5:41) Even then. (5:41) No, no, no.

(5:42) I don't agree with your explanation. (5:45) But even then. (5:45) This is your explanation.

(5:46) That's not what happened in this case. (5:48) OK. (5:48) What happened? (5:49) Yes.

(5:49) That's not what happened. (5:50) Yes. (5:51) Because the LC was established.

(5:53) Even before. (5:56) Yes. (6:00) Yes.

(6:04) Yes. (6:05) Yes. (6:08) Yes.

(6:10) Yes. (6:13) Yes. (6:14) Yes.

(6:14) Yes. (6:14) Yes. (6:14) Yes.

(6:14) Yes. (6:14) Yes. (6:30) Yes.

(6:32) Yes. (6:32) Yes. (6:33) Yes.

(6:35) Yes. (7:03) Yes. (7:04) Yes.

(7:06) Yes. (7:08) Yes. (7:10) Yes.

(7:13) Yes. (7:20) Yes. (7:22) Yes.

(7:22) Yes. (7:34) Yes. (7:35) Yes.

(7:35) Yes. (7:35) Yes. (7:36) Yes.

(7:38) Yes. (7:47) Yes. (7:52) Yes.

(8:06) Yes. (8:22) Yes. (8:23) Yes.

(8:25) Yes. (8:25) Yes. (8:28) Yes.

(8:39) Yes. (8:41) Yes. (8:42) Yes.

(8:42) Yes. (9:02) Yes. (9:03) Yes.

(9:04) Yes. (9:04) Yes. (9:06) Yes.

(9:06) Yes. (9:07) Yes. (9:14) Yes.

(9:15) Yes. (9:21) Yes. (9:22) Yes.

(9:22) Yes. (9:22) Yes. (9:24) Yes.

(9:27) Yes. (9:36) Yes. (9:40) Yes.

(9:42) Yes. (9:45) Yes. (9:46) Yes.

(9:49) Yes. (9:49) Yes. (9:50) Yes.

(9:50) Yes. (9:51) Yes. (9:53) That is the problem I'm having.

Anytime you bring up this issue with Yoni Kulendi, when I went to Yoni Kulendi's place, anytime you bring this issue, that is my problem I'm having. (10:02) Because me, for example, I am in this case because I'm innocent and I'm going through ordeal. (10:07) So I'm looking at another person also going through ordeal and through me because I know the truth and I decide not to say it because I want to help the AG make his case.

(10:17) And I ask myself, what is my interest in it? (10:19) I'm not asking it to really help me. I'm just going by it. (10:22) Anyway, so that's fine.

So this one was an idiot by the way. (10:27) I hope you get my difficulty. (10:29) It's on the phone.

I don't even know that. (10:31) Oh, no, no, no. (10:31) I don't know who's recording.

(10:32) No, no, no. Don't worry about that one. (10:34) My issue I'm talking about... (10:36) I don't know whether you're recording or somebody's recording.

(10:37) You and I, you've been meeting me at my cousin's place and you've been bringing this issue up several, several times. (10:47) Exactly. (10:47) And I keep telling you that I can't do that because... (10:51) It doesn't sit well with me.

(10:53) The terms of contract are simple. (10:55) It is on sites that establish upon the site of the contract for every 50 ambulances. (10:58) Yeah.

(11:00) Do you understand? (11:00) Yeah. (11:02) It's for every... (11:03) So when you say that, for every 50 ambulances means that it's not only the 50. (11:08) Okay.

(11:09) Yeah. (11:10) Okay. (11:11) For every.

(11:12) It means that it is not only 50. (11:16) Alright. (11:16) It means that there are a lot of 50s that will be following.

(11:21) So that is what I was trying to explain to you. (11:23) So, frankly speaking, the LC that was established was as a security for the supplier to invest its own money since there's no... (11:32) Is that the same LC that was established? (11:33) Yes, yes. It is the same LC that was established.

(11:36) Because LC was the means of payment and the agreement. (11:39) Yes. (11:41) When the conditions precedence are met... (11:45) LC is what? (11:47) That they have some documents? (11:52) That, yes, yes.

(11:53) The bill of ladings... (11:55) Ambulances have been shipped and the bill of ladings are presented. (11:58) That is when you can catch the LC. (12:00) So until you ship the ambulances, you can't catch the LC.

(12:05) Was that in this case also? (12:07) Yes, in this case, yes. (12:08) When he shipped the ambulances, he then presented their documents to Ghana International Bank. (12:12) And then Ghana International Bank refused to honour the LC and raised issues of discrepancies.

(12:17) Which was later claimed by Animana at the Ministry of Health for payment to proceed. (12:25) And that is how he was paid. (12:28) So, frankly speaking, if there's somebody who authorised this payment to go on, even though Ghana International Bank raised issues of discrepancies, it's Animana.

(12:39) He was authorising those payments. (12:42) But, of course, when you had the Bank of Ghana officials and the Ministry of Health officials, it means that no payment can go on. (12:51) Except with the Ministry of Health's authorisation.

(12:53) There's no way the Ministry of Health would authorise it. (12:55) In fact, the Ministry of Health actually gave me their letter. (12:57) They said, no, they should go ahead and produce ambulances.

(13:01) No, oh, as for that letter, as for that letter that said IT wrote that they should suspend production and those things, was contrary to the terms of the contract. (13:10) And that letter went to the office, the AG's office. (13:15) And the AG debunked that letter and wrote his legal opinion and told her that they should proceed.

(13:21) So, AG, that letter had been destroyed by your department, by your ministry. (13:26) So, that letter is of no value. (13:28) It is the AG's legal opinion that overrode that letter.

(13:32) And Ministry of Finance had to implement the AG's opinion. (13:35) Yeah, and by the AG's legal opinion, the terms of the contract were honoured. (13:40) Yes.

(13:40) Only the terms of the contract were breached. (13:42) Because they were already breached. (13:44) And the AG wanted them to honour it.

(13:46) So, that Shiraite's letter that you want to rely on is of no value. (13:51) They honour it, honour the terms of the contract. (13:54) The ministry? (13:56) Yes, they still didn't honour some part of the contract.

(14:00) They honour the LC part, but when it came to the pre-shipment inspection, they refused to honour that particular part. (14:08) Okay. (14:08) So, they waived your right to go and inspect.

(14:10) And then, they turned around and blamed people for you not going to inspect to rectify any manufacturing defect that the pre-shipment inspection was meant to kill. (14:22) Aha. So, Shiraite, through her negligence and refusal to implement the pre-shipment inspection, created this problem.

(14:32) Aha. That's what I'm saying to you. (14:34) Let me draw upon that.

That's my timetable for the rest of the... (14:38) Oh, that means that you are not going to be around. (14:40) So, yeah, yeah, yeah. (14:42) And then, even next week, the whole of next week, I'll not be around.

(14:46) Yes, I will be off. (14:49) If you finish next week, I would appreciate it. (14:53) Oh, no, no.

I'll not finish next week. I don't think I'll be able to finish because the documents are many. (14:58) So, you will surely go and come and meet me.

(15:02) Oh, no. (15:03) But that will also depend upon the judge's behaviour. (15:08) You can bring one of the medical experts next week.

(15:10) Okay. (15:12) Yes, I have. (15:13) Okay, fine.

If you bring a medical expert next week. (15:17) I said you. (15:18) No, no.

You are saying that I should bring a medical expert next week. (15:22) You can. You can.

(15:23) But, brother, you want this woman to issue a bench warrant for me again. (15:27) Right. (15:30) Because you can see that I was really mad.

(15:33) The machine was struggling for my life and she issued a bench warrant for me. (15:36) For me to be arrested. And my name was put everywhere.

(15:38) Okay. (15:39) Now, if I go and do another one. (15:42) I'll say, my brother, this woman will issue another bench warrant for me.

(15:45) And destroy the little of my reputation left. (15:51) She will destroy it for me. (15:53) No problem.

(15:54) But you will surely go and come and meet me. (15:56) So, don't worry. (15:57) No problem.

(15:59) Thank you, my brother.