Thu. Jul 4th, 2024

Stay away from interrupting me! – See how, on cross-examination, a visibly irate Justice Asare-Botwe angrily attacked Richard Jakpa.

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Justice Afia Serwaah Asare-Botwe

The final day of Richard Jakpa’s cross-examination by the Attorney-General in the ongoing ambulance trial witnessed some heated moments, but perhaps the most significant was between Richard Jakpa and the High Court judge, Justice Afia Serwaah Asare-Botwe, over Jakpa’s tendency to repeat points already stated.

During the process, Justice Asare-Botwe had to remind Richard Jakpa, the Chief Executive Officer of Jakpa@business, that his style of answering questions was hindering the swift progress of the trial.

Justice Asare-Botwe often implored Richard Jakpa, whose company brokered the deal between the government of Ghana and Mid Company Limited for the ambulances, to refrain from referencing documents submitted as evidence, as he was causing unnecessary delays.

However, there were moments when Justice Asare-Botwe lost her patience and had to reprimand Jakpa for not adhering to her requests.

The tension arose when Richard Jakpa was responding to a question from the Attorney-General, Godfred Dame, about the quality of the ambulances and the plan for the first batch of ambulances once they arrived in Ghana.

Godfred Dame sought to establish that the ambulances arrived in the country without the full complement of accessories that make them fully functional.

Below is the discourse

Judge: Mr. Jakpa, please, you have already made reference to the document between Mid Sea and the Honorable Agyemang Mensah. Allow the Honorable Attorney General…

Jakpa cuts in: My lord, that is not the only document.

Judge: Mr. Jakpa, don’t worry. Even if you want to make reference to the document… I’m talking to you. Even if you want to make references and you don’t, the addresses are there to direct the court to all the possible exhibits the court should look at. Allow the Attorney General to ask his question.

Jakpa interjects: My Lord, I understand you, but the issue is I’m in the box, and I have to answer them.

Judge: Mr. Jakpa, it looks like you don’t want to listen to anything.

Jakpa: My Lord, I thought I wasn’t being treated fairly.

Judge: You’ve said that many times, and I have heard you. I have already insisted that when it is quarter past three, the Attorney General should stop. It is only fair then that I give him the chance to ask his questions.

Jakpa interjects: But my Lord…

Judge: (sounding angry at this point) Don’t interrupt me. I would really appreciate it if you didn’t. I have already told you also that these documents you want to keep referring to are already in evidence. This is about the 20th time I’m saying it. Your lawyer will have the opportunity to refer to them at length in their addresses, so please allow him to ask the question.

Jakpa drags Justice Asare-Botwe to Chief Justice:

A day after the cross-examination on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, Richard Jakpa has petitioned the Chief Justice over the conduct of the trial judge.

“Right from the beginning of this trial until today, I have not been treated fairly at all by the judge. I am saying that because I have written a petition to the Chief Justice on this. So, I am not speaking out of a vacuum, and it is recorded. It is documented.

“When I wrote the petition to the Chief Justice, I enumerated all the instances of bias, abuse of my human rights, denying me legal representation, and all the instances.

“Even the right to visit the washroom and the judge at times engaging me as an accused in court when I am a witness.”

Watch the incident from the 48th minute

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Stay away from interrupting me! - See how, on cross-examination, a visibly irate Justice Asare-Botwe angrily attacked Richard Jakpa. 3

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