Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
An Accountant attached to the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), Eric Sunu yesterday said a total of $2 million was raised as invoice in the infamous GYEEDA scandal.
Eric Sunu who has been posted to GYEEDA from the Controller and Accountant General’s Department since 2009, gave the breakdown of amounts paid at an Accra Financial Court where Abuga Pele, a former National Coordinator of National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) now GYEEDA and Philip Akpeena Assibit, CEO of Goodwill International Group (GIG) are on trial for allegedly causing financial loss to the state.
Abuga Pele and Philip Akpeena Assibit are standing trial for the various roles they played in the GYEEDA rot which the Attorney General’s Department said caused huge financial loss to the state.
The Chiana- Paga NDC MP is accused of wilfully causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GH¢3,330,568.53 while Assibit is being tried for defrauding the state of an amount equivalent to $1,948,626.68.
The two have pleaded not guilty and are currently on bail. They were present in court yesterday presided over by Justice Afia Asare-Botwe.
Led in evidence by Comfort Tasiameh, a Principal State Attorney, Mr. Sunu told the packed court that the $2 million was paid in instalment into the accounts of Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI) and GIG between May 2011 and May 2012.
He said the invoice was on MDPI letterhead with a memo attached which had the instruction to make the payments into MDPI account.
The sixth Prosecution Witness (PW6) told the court that in the course of processing the cheques, Assibit came to him to say that he wanted the cheques to be processed in the name of MDPI/GIG adding “when I checked on the memo to the minister it was in the name of MDPI/GIG so I did so.”
He then tendered in evidence the five different Bank of Ghana cheques which he said he prepared for MDPI/GIG.
Mr. Sunu said “the first cheque for payment was made on May 10, 2011 with an amount of GH¢826,153.64 paid to MDPI/GIG, the second on December 12, 2011 with an amount of GH¢840,000 to GIG/MDPI, the third February 14, 2012 with GH¢760,500 to MDPI/GIG, the fourth May 14, 2012 with an amount of GH¢451,957.44 to GIG/MDPI and the fifth on May 16, 2012 with an amount of GH¢451,957.45 to GIG/MDPI.”
He said there was another payment for Tracer Studies on September 10, 2012 to Assibit at an amount of GH¢835,000.
He said he was called later on by the security agencies to explain the reason why he made the payment to the personal account of Assibit but said he expressed surprise because at all material times, the cheques were issued in the name MDPI/GIG.
During cross examination by Raymond Bagnabu, counsel for Assibit, the witness insisted that the internal audit office was attached to the ministry and not GYEEDA and said he was not in a position to know whether services were rendered before Assibit was paid.
He also said the memo categorically stated that work had been done by MDPI/GIG and said payments were approved by the ministry.
He contradicted PW4’s (then Minister Clement Kofi Humado) testimony that he (Humado) approved a payment plan and not actual payment by saying that anything he prepared was approved by the ministry.
He said the minister had introduced checks (ceiling) to ensure that payment beyond GH¢20,000 was to approved by him (Minister) and therefore everything must be approved before cheques were prepared.
When Karl Adongo representing Abuga Pele took his turn, the witness admitted that Abuga Pele did not prepare anything above the limit (GH¢20,000) put in place by the minister saying he (Abuga Pele) won’t sign anything above GH¢20,000 unless approved by the minister.
When counsel suggested to the witness that “A2 (Abuga Pele) did not approve all the cheques you wrote. It was approved by the minister,” the witness said “yes my lord!”
So far, Nuru Hamidan former NYEP Deputy National Coordinator in charge of Operations and now MCE for Asokore Mampong, Gladys Ghartey current Head of United Nations Systems at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Mohammed Pelpuo, Head of the Business Development Unit at NYEP, Dr. Shaibu Ahmed Gariba, former Director General of MDPI as well as Clement Kofi Humado, former Minister of Youth and Sports have since testified and cross-examined.
Sitting continues on March 11.