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Richard Jakpa pokes Dominic Nitiwul as he punches holes in Ghana Armed Forces’ report of his conduct

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General News of Thursday, 4 July 2024

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Richard Jakpa, a Ghanaian businessman on trial for his involvement in the purchase of ambulances during the John Mahama government, has defended his record in the Ghana Armed Forces, insisting he was not dismissed as some have speculated.

In a JoyNews interview, Jakpa questioned the credibility of the dismissal letter issued by the Ministry of Defense, led by Dominic Nitiwul. He argued that the Ministry of Defence lacked the authority to issue such letters and did not follow the Ghana Armed Forces’ administrative procedures.

“The letter from the Minister of Defence is completely out of order because it is not within the purview of the Minister of Defense to write such confidential assessments of military officers.

“The General Headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces, headed by Lieutenant General Oppong Peprah, the CDS, operates under military laws and procedures, not the MOD, which is a political head and doesn’t run the military.

If someone files an RTI requesting information from the Ghana Armed Forces and the letter is directed to the Minister of Defence, the ministry attaches a covering letter and writes to the Chief of Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces, who reports directly to the CDS.

“The CoS of the GAF then sends it to the CDS, who considers the requested information and determines the next action. Once approved, it goes to the CoS, who writes to the military secretary. So, it goes through a trail of procedures not captured in the report.

Jakpa also dismissed the notion that the widely speculated report from the Ghana Armed Forces was a dismissal letter.

He claims the letter was a recommendation, and that he was unaware of its existence until it appeared in court documents.

Jakpa has instructed his lawyers to request a subpoena of the Ghana Armed Forces to defend the letter, as he was never given the chance to argue his case.

“That letter was a recommendation, not a release, and that’s the mistake they’re making. They’ve misconstrued it as a dismissal letter.

“They talked about consistent fraudulent conduct and owing people and institutions but never named the people or institutions or mentioned the type of consistent fraudulent conduct.

I left 17 years ago and have never seen this letter until it surfaced in court. I never knew such a letter existed. And if you realize, the letter was purportedly written by Brigadier General Ahiaglo, who is deceased. And you know that dead men don’t talk.

But the one who can best speak to this letter is the Chief of Army Staff, retired Major General Odotei. If you look at the letter, it was signed for him as the Chief of Army Staff. It was directed to the Chief of Staff in a confidential security classification, so I was not to know. They conspired against me and didn’t even want me to know about it.

“They didn’t give me a chance to defend myself because they knew they would be in trouble. Because the military I know doesn’t tolerate fraud. They would charge you, court-martial you, and you would be dismissed with disgrace and even face a prison sentence. They don’t countenance those things, let alone allow them to become consistent.

“In military letter writing, you have the introduction, body, and recommendation. The recommendation comes from the body of the letter, which is the crux of the issue. So if you’re talking about consistently fraudulent and serious crimes, your recommendation cannot be that he should be released due to a lack of application or interest.

Jakpa also discussed the circumstances leading to his departure from the Ghana Armed Forces in 2007.

“The military is a structured institution and is very specific about what they put on paper. You hardly get ambiguity in military service fiat. The military cannot dishonourably release someone without a reason, and they always quote military law.

The clause about my release states ‘lack of application or interest, service terminated.’ This means that in 2005, I applied to leave the service due to persecution by the NPP government and aligned military personnel. My application was declined. Two years later, my service was terminated due to a lack of interest. I left due to consistent persecution by the Kufuor government and their military allies,” he said.

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