Former National Coordinator of the erstwhile National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) Abuga Pele has been convicted on 13 counts of offences and subsequently sentenced to six years imprisonment.
The former boss of NYEP – which was later renamed Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) and now Youth Employment Agency (YEA) – was facing trial on a total of 19 counts including ‘willfully causing financial loss to the state’.
Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe found him guilty and jailed him for six years. He is to serve four other years concurrently.
Businessman Philip Akpeena Assibit, who was the Chief Executive Officer of the Goodwill International Group (GIG), was also found guilty on six counts including defrauding by false pretences.
The two have been standing trial for the past four years, having been accused of defrauding the state of a total of GH¢4.1 million.
Mr Pele, who was a Member of Parliament for Chiana-Paga Constituency in the Upper East Region, was also found guilty for abetment of crime aside causing financial loss to the state.
But his lawyer, Abu Juan, argued for the extenuation of his sentence as he claimed his client is a former MP and even had to comply with the writ of summon while he was MP.
Lawyer Juan claimed his client even lost his party’s primaries as a result of the trial.
Mr Assibit, whose documents from the World Bank in securing a contract with GYEEDA were proven false, was guilty of six counts.
His claim to have recruited 250 people for a World Bank-approved project, Youth Enterprise Development Programme (YEDP), was proven to be false.
He was therefore handed a 12-year jail sentence for defrauding by false pretences.
He was also given three years in prison for dishonestly causing financial loss to the state. But that is to run concurrently.
Speaking to journalists after the judgement, his lawyer, Kwaku Paintsil, said he has already been given instructions by his client to file an appeal against the sentence.
“I can assure you that based on the instructions of my client, we have been ordered to file an appeal against the conviction.”