Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday, February 27, 2014
ONE of the two suspects in the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) trial, who was detained for failing to meet his bail conditions, has finally been released.
Philip Akpeena Assibit is standing trial alongside Abuga Pele, NDC MP for Chiana Paga and former National Coordinator of the National Youth Employment Programme (now GYEEDA) for their various roles, which the Attorney General’s Department says had cost huge financial loss to the state.
Since mid-February, Mr. Assibit, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill International Group (GIG), has been in custody after he failed to satisfy the bail conditions placed on him by the Financial Court in Accra, presided over by Justice Afia Asare-Botwe.
He had been ordered to produce four sureties with two justifications worth GH¢2million, but his co-accused, Abuga Pele, was able to satisfy the bail conditions and was asked to go home.
A member of Mr. Assibit’s legal team, Joseph Kpemka, confirmed that their client had finally been able to satisfy the conditions and had been granted bail.
While Abuga Pele is accused of willfully causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GH¢3,330,568.53, Mr. Assibit is being tried for defrauding the state of an amount equivalent to $1,948,626.68.
The NDC MP for Chiana-Paga is facing six counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state under Section 179A (3) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29), two counts of abetment under Sections 20(1) and 131(1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29) and one count of intentionally misapplying public property, contrary to Section 1(2) of the Public Property Protection Act, 1977 (SMCD) 140.
Mr. Assibit, who is the first accused person on the other hand, is facing six counts of defrauding by false pretences contrary to Section 131(1) of the Criminal and Offences Act 1960 (Act 29) and five counts of dishonestly causing loss to public property contrary to Section 2(1) of the Public Property Protection Act, 1977 (SMCD) 140.
Facts of the Case
It is the prosecution’s case that in 2009, Abuga Pele was appointed the National Coordinator of NYEP, a social intervention programme, to provide job opportunities to unemployed youth.
He was subsequently said to have been introduced to Philip Akpeena Assibit somewhere in 2010, as someone who could help the NYEP meet some of its objectives.
Soon after the meeting, Abuga Pele was said to have, on behalf of the NYEP, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with GIG - represented by Philip Assibit.
Mrs. Keelson stated that contrary to the normal practice, the MoU was signed on behalf of the NYEP by Abuga Pele without any recourse to the then sector Minister, Akua Sena Dansua, or the Attorney-General.
Under the MoU, the NYEP was described as the “Host” and GIG as a “Strategic Partner”.
The parties, she said, agreed to “combine their labour, properties and skills for the purpose of engaging in resource mobilization, investor sourcing, management consulting, capacity building, career development and training services, among others.”
GIG was responsible for resource mobilization and undertook to provide preliminary funds for the development of the programme.
The parties, according to the prosecutor, agreed to share profits equally.
The prosecutor however, noted that there was nothing on record in terms of business proposals or documents forming the basis of engaging GIG as a Strategic Partner.
Between May 2011 and May 2012, Assibit was said to have made a number of payment claims for consultancy services allegedly rendered to the NYEP.
These representations were noted to have been supported by Mr. Pele, who used them as the basis for justifying, recommending and approving a total amount of GH¢3,330,568.53 - the equivalent of $1,948,626.68 - to Assibit.
Abuga Pele was alleged to have claimed that Assibit’s work had directly resulted in a $65 million World Bank facility for the NYEP.
The prosecutor however, disclosed that all those representations were false and that GIG was never appointed a consultant to NYEP, while Assibit did not provide any exit plan and strategy for NYEP modules.
Apart from that, he was also said not to have conducted any financial engineering for the approval of a World Bank facility of $65 million since there had not been any approval by the World Bank for the facility.
In August 2012, Assibit was said to have been paid an additional GH¢835,000 under the guise of what was referred to as tracer studies for the World Bank, which he did not deserve.
Sitting continues on March 4.