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Judgement in GYEEDA case on February 23

Philip Akpeena Assibit (left) and Abuga Pele

The Financial Division of the High Court will on February 23, 2018 give its judgment in the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) case involving its former Co-ordinator Abuga Pele and Philip Assibit, Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill International Group (GIG).

The parties involved are to submit their written addresses by January 26, 2018.

Mrs Evelyn Keelson, Chief State Attorney ending her cross-examination of Pele pointed out that he deliberately assisted Assibit, the second accused to dupe the state

The first accused however denied that saying; he acted transparently, fairly and did not justify any false claims made by the second accused.

She suggested that, as a public officer, he helped the accused to make false claims which brought losses to the State.

Mr Pele responded that “I did everything in my capacity and in the interest of the State.”

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He said the disabled and the youth in this country, would have benefitted from the World Bank $ 65 million and the DANIDA 5-million euros would have assisted in the country’s development.

Mr Pele said, everything he said in his memo to the former Minister of Youth and Sports, were work done for which, he personally visited the field and processed data to convince the World Bank that Ghana’s youth employment programme was a flagship project.

Mrs Keelson pointed to the accused that there was no agreement on record signed by the then Minister of Youth and Sport, Kofi Humado, which gave a contract to Assibit’s company which provided an exit plan for which evidence were in court to show but he denied this.

He said the contract gave basis for the continuous approval of payments to Goodwill International Group (GIG) and Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI).

The State suggested to Pele that his letter to the Minister, did not grant GIG/MDPI any consultancy services to develop an exit plan for the NYEP but the accused said the face of the letter did not state the exit plan, neither did it state many of the services that were subsequently delivered by Assibit’s company.

He said “I still insist that there is a contract for all the services provided for which subsequent payment was made.”

Mrs Keelson pointed to the accused person, that the statement in his memo that it was the consultant’s services that directly resulted in the World Bank’s support of $65 million was not correct, but Mr Pele said the consultants work was what directly resulted in the World Bank approval of the facility for NYEP.

He said before, their work, the NYEP was faced with a lot of resource challenges but when they completed their work, the World Bank approved it upon submission.

“It not only the World Bank that approved their proposal but also DANIDA also approved a 5 million- euro facility and there are various documents and correspondents from these institutions in court to attest to that,” he added.

Mr Pele said in all their correspondence the words used were approved or secured and to release money from the World Bank, there were some preparatory activities that needed to be done, so in this case all stakeholders could agree that the fund was secured but not released.

The State pointed to Mr Pele that Assibit was paid GHȼ53, 000.00 in February, 2011 by NYEP in respect of feasibility studies conducted with 250 personnel and yet he included it in his memo to the Minister for payment, but the former National Co-ordinator said “I cannot remember any of such amount being paid to Assibit.”

She also suggested to Pele there was evidence on record that he approved certain amounts above his threshold without consulting the Minister but he said it was not true, adding that every payment for the consultancy was approved by the Minister.

The Mr Pele, the former National Co-ordinator of GYEEDA and Mr Assibit, a Representative of Goodwill International Group (GIG) are facing various charges of causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GHȼ4.1 million.

Assibit is accused of putting in false claims that he had secured a 65-million-dollar World Bank funding for the creation of one million jobs for the youth, which led government to part with GH¢4.1 million to his company but he failed to deliver per the agreement.

The case has been adjourned to Friday February 23, 2018 by the High Court presided over by Mrs Afia Serwah Asare-Botwe.