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Recuse yourself from ambulance case – Judge advises Attorney General

Godfred Dame

In a recent development, High Court Judge Justice Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe has advised Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Godfred Yeboah Dame to excuse himself from the ambulance procurement case involving Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson and Richard Jakpa. The judge cited allegations of professional and prosecutorial misconduct. According to JoyNews’ Latif Iddrisu, Godfred Dame attempted to explain himself, but the judge maintained her stance.

This decision follows separate applications filed by the first accused, Dr Forson, and the third accused, Richard Jakpa. The applications sought several orders, including an inquiry into the Attorney-General’s conduct based on Jakpa’s claims that the Attorney-General had been contacting him at odd hours.

They also requested a mistrial to terminate the case, a stay of proceedings until the applications were determined, and a motion to strike out charges against Jakpa. Dr Ato Forson, the Minority Leader and former Deputy Finance Minister, filed three of these motions, while the last one was filed by Jakpa. Both are on trial for allegedly causing a financial loss of €2.37 million to the state through a contract to purchase 200 ambulances for the Ministry of Health, among other charges.

Despite the court declining jurisdiction to order an inquiry and declare a mistrial based on prosecutorial misconduct, it directed Dr Ato Forson to seek redress from the General Legal Council if he wished to pursue the matter further.

Additionally, the court admitted a telephone recording between Jakpa and the Attorney-General as evidence, overruling the Attorney-General’s objections regarding its admissibility. This ruling is unprecedented, marking the first time a Ghanaian court has advised an Attorney-General to recuse himself from a trial due to misconduct allegations.


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