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Ambulance case: ‘Agyemang-Manu told me the case is now being handled by NPP headquarters – Jakpa tells court’

The third accused in the ongoing ambulance trial has testified in the Accra High Court that the former Minister for Health, Kweku Agyemang-Manu, informed him that businessmen aligned with the current government would order their own ambulances to profit from the venture. This came as a response to issues stemming from an initiative started by NDC businessmen, which the former minister referred to as their responsibility to resolve.

Businessman Richard Jakpa testified that Mr. Agyeman Manu said the ambulance case had been taken over by his party’s headquarters. Jakpa indicated that the government ordered new ambulances of the same model, Mercedes Benz Van 311, through a third-party company, as Mercedes does not manufacture ambulances directly. This company converted the vans into ambulances and shipped them to Ghana, where they awaited accessories for a year before being distributed.

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Jakpa and Dr. Ato Forson, the current minority leader in parliament, are accused of causing a financial loss of 2.37 million euros through the ambulance purchase. Both have pleaded not guilty. Jakpa described the prosecution’s claims that the ambulances were unfit for purpose as “very mischievous” and aimed at sabotaging the project initiated by the previous government.

Jakpa presented a letter to the court, stating it resolved all issues related to the ambulance project before the new government took power. He emphasized that the current government only needed to implement the provisions outlined in the letter and an addendum to the main contract. Despite showing this letter to Mr. Agyeman Manu, the minister declined to act on it, citing party directives and opting to order new ambulances instead.

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