Monday, 17 June

Ambulance case: Health Minister okayed project resumption in a letter to Finance Ministry

General News
Ambulance

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

Mr Jakpa stated that Minister Ayitey okayed the deal in a letter dated July 19, 2013. This letter, he mentioned, has already been tendered in evidence and marked as Exhibit 14.

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

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

"By a letter dated 19th July 2013, Big Sea wrote to the then Minister for Health who at the time was the Honourable 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 was copied in this letter."

"Big Sea, therefore, requested that as provided for by the contract, the government visit Dubai to inspect the ambulances before shipment. This letter as already stated was tendered in evidence and marked exhibit 14," an excerpt of his witness statement said.

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

Mr. Jakpa emphasised 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 legitimised the letters of credit. Jakpa noted that the Bank of Ghana only opened the letters of credit after receiving authorisation from the then Deputy Controller and Accountant General.

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

"It is after the documents marked as page 2 and 3 of Exhibit AK that the Former Minister for Finance [Hon. Seth Terkper] wrote to Big Sea assuring and informed it that he was in the process of finalising the establishment of the Letter of Credit. Thereafter, the Bank of Ghana [BOG] was requested to open the LC with the authentication seal of the Minister for Finance."

"This is confirmed by exhibit A. Later the Deputy Controller and Accountant's General finally authorised the BOG to establish the LC by exhibit B," he added.

Source: Classfmonline.com