GYEEDA trial- Assibit opens his defence

Accra, Mr Philip Akpeena Assibit, one of the accused persons in the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), has told the Financial Court Division of the High Court that his company never received payments before implementation.

He said if there was any payment before the execution on the contract agreement with the consultancy fees outlined in the budget, it would be allowances given them as participants in the NYEP workshops.

Mr Assibit who was giving his Evidence in Chief, said the scope of the agreement had deliverables to produce an exit plan, which was later coined to be an exit strategy on the advice of the then Minister of Youth and Sports.

He said there was to establish an office for resource mobilisation and project management, which the Minister again suggested should be changed to resource mobilisation and project development office.

Mr Abuga 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 of 4.1 million Ghana Cedis to the State.

Assibit is being 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.

He said the company received payments but not before work was done.

The accused said there was also training and supervision of 250 youth for data collection across all the districts of the country for the NYEP but initially, the understanding was to train 110 youth for all the 110 administrative districts.

He said it was resolved that some of the districts were too large to be handled by one person, hence the decision to increase the number to 250 youths.

He said GIG/MDPI team also drafted proposals for funding and also facilitated several consultative meetings and workshops as well as conducted capacity building for NYEP personnel.

He said GIG/MDPI’s relationship with NYEP started with a proposal covered by a letter written to management of NYEP, where the company worked on various engagements till a point where, a new Minister of Youth and Sports was appointed.

Mr Assibit said when the Minister assumed office, a meeting was convened and they were informed of a cabinet directive that they should meet with all service providers, contractors who were working with the NYEP to go into right engagements to discuss reports done with service providers to finalised agreements with them.

He said the proposal, letters and the reply to their letter from the NYEP was discussed in a meeting and after the review of all the documents, lawyers for the Ministry were tasked to sit with the Chief Director and the Internal Auditor to formalise the contract of service agreement.

I signed the contract for GIG, while Dr Gariba, a witness in the case witnessed on one part and the Minister signed for the NYEP and the National Coordinator witnessed for the NYEP and l was given a copy, he added.

On June 19, 2015 the Court ordered Philip and Pele to open their defence in respect of a GH4.1 million malfeasance case against them.

The order came after the Court had ruled that the State had established a prima facie case against the two, in respect of 19 counts of defrauding by false pretences, abetment of crime, dishonesty and intentionally misapplying public funds and wilfully causing financial loss to the State.

Source: Ghana News Agency