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Ato Forson case: Court to determine admissibility of Godfred Dame-Jakpa audio conversation

June 12, 2024
Mr. Ato Forson

An High Court hearing the case involving Dr and two others, will on Thursday 13, 2024, determine whether an audio conversation between Richard Jakpa and Godfred Dame Yeboah, the , is admissible in the trial. 

The Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe adjourned the matter to Thursday to deliver full ruling on the admissibility. 

Dr Abdul Bassit Bamba, Counsel for Dr Forson on Tuesday, June 6, 2024, moved an application to admit the recording of the audio tape conversation, involving Jakpa and into evidence. 

The Court allowed the audio, a private voice recording or conversation between Mr Richard Japka, the third Accused person, and Mr Godfred Dame Yeboah, the AG to be played openly in court. 

According to the Court, it was to decide whether the audio evidence was admissible in the case and to ensure whether the parties were served with the audio evidence being tendered. 

Mrs Yvonne Attakora-Obuabasi, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), after listening to the audio, opposed the tendering, indicating that insufficient foundation had been laid for its inclusion into evidence in the ongoing trial. 

The DPP said they opposed the tendering of the recording into evidence on grounds of relevance and breach of privacy of the A-G. 

She said the Court had already relied on the tape in its ruling which dismissed all the applications filed by both Dr Forson and Jakpa. 

She said the recording did not assist the court in any way to determine the case and it was irrelevant in this case.

 “The tape is of little relevance, and they have woefully failed in the relevance stage,” she said. 

Dr Bamba said the content was relevant to the determination of the case.

He said in the tape “we heard it was the second accused person, the former Chief Director was the one authorized the payment and not Dr Forson.” 

He prayed for the Court to rule that the tape was relevant to the trial, adding that the AG had not denied that the voice in the tape was not his and neither had the prosecution also denied that the voice in the tape was that of the AG.  

The Counsel said the Court in the ruling dated June 6, 2024, on mistrial application considered the tape and admitted it into evidence. 

He said the audio involved no mean person like the AG of Ghana, who is a public authority. 

Dr Bamba said the AG had impressed the accused to accept his theory for prosecution and the conduct interfered with the administration of justice and it amounted to contempt of court. 

“The conduct of the AG related to woeful oppression of any public authority,” he said.  

He said there was no doubt that AG was a public officer. What he did was a clear abuse of authority.   

“His job is to prosecute cases but not his role to be talking to the accused person to suggest his theory of trial,” he added.  The judge pleaded with parties in the matter to help her finish the case quickly. 

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