File photo: Gavel

Businessman Richard Jakpa has petitioned Chief Justice Gertrude Torkonoo asking that she stops Justice Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe from handling the faulty ambulance trial.

Mr Jakpa is standing trial alongside Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, and former Chief Director at the Ministry of Health, Seth Anemana.

Justice Botwe, who is a Court of Appeal judge, is handling the case as an additional High Court Judge.

It is unclear at this stage what specifically Mr Jakpa’s concern is except that the Judge did indicate that he has levelled allegations of bias against her.

It will be recalled that Mr Jakpa clashed with the judge on June 20, 2023.

This was after Justice Botwe had described his conduct as disrespectful serving notice she will not tolerate any such disrespect.

The judge has, therefore, put the trial on hold to await the decision of the Chief Justice on the petition.

Joynews is learning the Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson, has also filed a motion at the court asking that the judge recuses herself.

Sources say this is related to a warning the judge had issued during the trial about closing the case of the accused persons or causing the arrest of their witnesses who fail to show up.

The judge on June 22 issued summons for various witnesses identified by the Minority Leader.

Dr Forson is standing trial alongside the two others for their alleged roles in the purchase of ambulances which the state contends resulted in a more than €2m loss.