Private company offers to refund €2million for prosecution of Dr. Ato Forson and others to end

A letter has been sent by the private company Big Sea Trading LLC to the Attorney General, expressing its intention to refund €2 million to the government. As a result, the prosecution of Minority Leader Dr. Ato Forson, former Ministry of Health director Sylvester Anemana, and businessman Richard Jakpa is expected to come to an end. These three individuals are currently on trial for their involvement in the purchase of faulty ambulances for the state. The Attorney General claims that the state suffered a loss of €2.37 million due to the purchase. All three defendants have pleaded not guilty, and the court has instructed them to present their defense. Big Sea is the company from which the government purchased the ambulances, and Richard Jakpa is believed to have acted as the company’s agent.

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The company has cited potential damage to its reputation as the reason for its offer, stating that it wants to maintain a positive relationship with Ghana to further its business interests. There is a provision in Section 35 of the Courts Act 1993 (Act 459) that allows a person accused of causing economic loss to the state to admit guilt and offer compensation. If the prosecution accepts such an offer and the court deems it satisfactory, the accused’s guilty plea is entered and instead of a custodial sentence, an order for payment is issued. It is unclear if the offer is being made under this law.

Big Sea intends to pay €500,000 upfront and the remaining €1.5 million within six months. The company requests the release of the 30 ambulances and the discontinuation of the case against the accused. However, it has been reported that the Attorney General’s Office has rejected Big Sea’s offer. Sources familiar with the negotiations indicate that the rejection is based on the Attorney General’s view that Big Sea is not one of the defendants on trial and therefore cannot make such a request.

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Lawyers representing Richard Jakpa, the businessman, have written to the Attorney General explaining that Big Sea made the offer to Jakpa. They clarify that Jakpa is forwarding the proposal for the Attorney General’s consideration. The lawyers state that they fully endorse the proposal and have also brought it to the attention of the other defendants, asking for their confirmation of support for the settlement process.

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