Ambulance Trial: Legal expert questions A-G’s tactics, labels actions as potentially criminal

A private legal practitioner and law lecturer, Justice Abdulai, has questioned the motive behind the ‘secret’ meetings and phone calls by the Attorney General and Minister for Justice Godfred Yeboah Dame to the third accused, Richard Jakpa in the ongoing Ambulance trial.

Commenting on the alleged attempt by the Attorney General to coerce the third accused, particularly the phone conversation, even without the counsel of the third accused, Justice Abdulai noted that this is “criminal and not a plea bargaining” as held by some section of the Ghanaian public.

He further explained that the information provided by the third accused during cross-examination under oath and the evidence presented by the NDC during a press conference “if it should be believed”, suggest that the Attorney General “has gone off track” and that these matters “border on criminality” which could have significant impact on the substantive case in court.

“The alleged attempt by the AG to coerce the third accused, especially the phone conversation, is criminal and that’s not a plea Bargaining. The AG has gone off track per the information put out by the third accused during his cross examination and further evidence put out by the NDC during their press conference.”

These are matters that bother on criminality and it is clear that it will have effect on the substantive case in court, he submitted.

The law lecturer also expressed concerns regarding the application filed by the third accused Richard Jakpa to have the ongoing case which has become known as “The Ambulance Trial” struck out.

According to Justice Abdulai, he had expected that in filing the application to strike out the case, the applicants would have included the evidence or an audio recording they possess, although he thinks the omission could be strategic.

In explaining his opinion, Justice Abdulai highlighted that the applicant may have deliberately omitted the filling of the evidence as a way of “looking to avoid the possibility of the Attorney General (Godfred Dame) applying for those exhibits.”
On Thursday May 30, 2024, Lawyers for Richard Jakpa, the third accused in the ambulance case, have filed an application in court seeking an order to strike out the charges against him or to stay the proceedings.
In his witness statement, Mr. Jakpa testifies under oath that the Attorney-General, Godfred Dame, has had several interactions with him, during which Mr. Dame assured him of his innocence and guaranteed his acquittal, while also adding that Mr. Dame informed him his inclusion in the prosecution was to disguise the true motive behind the trial.
However, the application was without the evidence being relied on by the applicants, raising mixed concerns.

Speaking on news and current affairs “Inside Pages” on Metro TV, on Saturday June 1, 2024, Justice Abdulai suggested that the applicants’ approach of filing the application without providing the evidence, while insisting on cross-examination, could be an attempt to create an “opportunity to be cross-examined.”

He explained that this strategy may be employed because the applicants know that the application “can be thrown out for not obtaining their evidence through fair means.”

“My opinion of the application is that, I would have thought that in Filing the application to strike out the case, the applicants add the evidence or an audio they have. They only make references of the meetings.”

“I fear that they want to avoid the possibility of AG applying for those exhibits which is why in their application, they did not add the evidence but insisting on cross examination.”

“The applicants are looking for an opportunity to be cross examined. They also know the application can be thrown out for not obtaining their evidence through a fair means so the best approach to adopt is to file without adding the evidence so that they can be cross examined.”

By: Bright Yao Dzakah | | Ghana

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