Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Thursday March 1, 2018
It has emerged that former deputy Attorney General, Dominic Akuritinga Ayine, was a director of the company that was used to defraud the state of millions of dollars in the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) scandal.
The company, Goodwill International Group (GIG), belongs to Phillip Akpeena Assibit - who was jailed 12 years alongside former opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for Chiana Paga Abuga Pele - who also received a six-year imprisonment term last Friday.
Dr. Ayine’s name popped up because incarcerated Abuga Pele, then National Coordinator of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) which the NDC changed to GYEEDA, and has now become Youth Employment Agency (YEA), had used GIG in his defence.
According to a document tendered in evidence by Abuga Pele to justify the NYEP’s dealings with GIG, Dr. Ayine, currently NDC MP for Bolgatanga East, was number five on the list of directors of GIG.
Other directors listed include Jean Claude C. Voucher, Benjamin A. Kassim, John Dadzie Mensah, Professor Alice Nyamengale, Sandra Ofori Ameyaw and Nii Otu Akwetey IX, described as Katamanso chief.
Abuga Pele had listed the names of the directors of the company to prove to the court that GIG is a reputable private company, backed by high-profile officials; and the NYEP was not wrong in dealing with them, but the trial judge, Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, did not buy that argument.
At page 45 of the 53-page judgement, the judge said, “He (Abuga Pele) states that due diligence was done by NYEP officials to the MDPI where they saw that GIG worked in close collaboration with the MDPI and they also found that GIG had very high-profile officials and that they were particularly interested in the officers and directors of the company to enable us determine the nature of the company they were dealing with and also their experience profile.”
The court further held that Abuga Pele, who was the 2nd accused person “also goes at great pains to show that he has approvals from the payments that were made and has explained at length the ceiling that was imposed on NYEP by the Minister of Youth and Sports and as well as the payment plans as far as financial management is concerned.”
In the final analysis, the court sentenced the former NDC MP to six years’ imprisonment for abetment and another four years for causing financial loss to the state, but said all should run currently.
Assibit on the other hand, was sentenced to twelve years for defrauding by false pretences, four years for abetment and another three years for dishonestly causing financial loss to the state.
The court also ordered the state to recover any assets of Asibit equivalent to the sum of $1,948,626.65, which he fraudulently received from the state.
On the charge sheet presented by the Attorney General’s Department at the beginning of the trial in February 2014, the two men were facing a total of 19 counts ranging from defrauding by false pretences to willfully causing loss to the state.
Assibit alone was 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 was charged with two counts of abetment, one count of intentionally misapplying public property and five counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state - all to the tune of GH¢3.305,568.53.