Tuesday, March 15, 2016


By William Yaw Owusu
Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The case of Abuga Pele, NDC MP for Chiana Paga, and his co-accused, Philip Akpeena Assibit, in the infamous GYEEDA scandal could not be heard yesterday due to a pending appeal application filed by Assibit.

Mr Assibit was expected to open his defence yesterday following the dismissal of his interlocutory appeal by the Court of Appeal presided over by single judge Justice Barbara F. Ackah Yensu on February 17.

However, his lawyers told the Accra Financial Court 2 presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare Botwe that Mr Assibit has an application at the Court of Appeal that is seeking to challenge the trial court’s decision ordering him to open his defence.

When the case was called, the trial judge confirmed that there was a notice of appeal pending at the appellate court filed by Mr Assibit. But Chief State Attorney Evelyn Keelson said the AG’s Department had not yet been served with the process.

Halaali Nchuakung, who is representing Raymond Bagnabu as counsel for Mr Assibit, however, told the court that they filed the application on Friday, March 11, 2016 and that the document could be on its way to the AG’s Department.

Justice Asare Botwe, as a result, adjourned the proceedings until April 21, 2016 to enable Mr Assibit pursue his application that is seeking to review the decision of single judge Justice Ackah Yensu.

Justice Ackah Yensu, in dismissing Mr Assibit’s application for stay of proceedings pending the appeal, had said “the applicant has not established or shown exceptional circumstances for the grant of a stay of proceedings.”

Financial Loss
Abuga Pele, who is the former National Coordinator of National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), now GYEEDA, and Mr Assibit are standing trial for the various roles they played at GYEEDA, which the Attorney General’s Department said caused huge financial loss to the state.

The 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.
Specific Charges
On the charge sheet presented by the Attorney General’s Department, the two men are facing a total of 19 counts ranging from defrauding by false pretences to wilfully causing financial loss to the state.

Assibit alone is charged with six counts of defrauding by false pretences to the tune of $2.028,605.20 and another five counts of dishonestly causing loss to public property to the tune of GH¢3.305,568.53.

Abuga Pele, the second accused, on the other hand, is charged with two counts of abetment, one count of intentionally misapplying public property and five counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the state, all to the tune of GH¢3.305,568.53.

Prima Facie Case
On Friday, June 19 last year the Financial Court presided over by Justice Afia Serwah Asare Botwe ordered the MP and Assibit to open their defence after the court held that the prosecution had been able to establish a prima facie case against the two.

The two had filed ‘Submission of no case to answer’ applications separately but the court dismissed them and said they had a case to answer at the close of the prosecution’s case in April.

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