GYEEDA Scandal: GH¢ 53,000 Cash Missing
It has emerged that GH¢53,000 cash earmarked for feasibility studies and development of technical proposal to the World Bank for the National Youth Employment Program (NYEP) cannot be traced.
While Mohammed Pelpuo, a witness and staff of the NYEP in the ongoing trial over the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) scandal claim the money was handed over to Philip Akpeena Assibit, Managing Consultant of Goodwill International Group (GIG), the latter says otherwise.
In a spirited defense under cross-examination, Assibit was emphatic that the said amount was not paid to him.
“Nobody paid me GH¢ 53,000 for the feasibility studies, that’s not right and can never be right…”
“I only see this as one of those untrue allegations. Some people came here to mislead the court with statements that had contrary documentary evidence.”
Assibit added: “He (Pelpuo) never paid me that money and prosecution have no basis except the said claim by Pelpuo (which was) defeated clearly by the same document he tendered.”
The Accra Financial and Economic Crimes Court further heard: “I plead with the court not to take the allegation that he gave me GH¢ 53,000 which he never did.”
In Assibit’s opinion, in any case, Pelpuo was never the accountant nor the paying officer to have paid him the amount.
Asked why his lawyers did not challenge Pelpuo’s assertion that the amount was paid to him under cross-examination, he stated: “I was not the one cross-examining Pelpuo; I have briefed my lawyers that it was not true and documentary evidence confirm that.”
“If my lawyers did not ask or challenge, the only reason I will attach to it is that, it was seen to be a lie. This does not rule out the fact that I did not take that money.”
While denying claims by Evelyn Keelson, a Senior State Attorney that he is lying to the court, the accused indicated that he did not make up the idea of the NYEP securing $65 million funding from the World Bank.
He explained: “it’s true that we did all the works to facilitate NYEP to secure the funding and documentary evidence is in this court to firm same that we did our work”.
Assibit argued that there are several authoritative documents and witness statements available to the court to confirm that the money was secured.
With particular reference to a Cabinet Memo, the GIG Consultant said Clement Kofi Humado, the then Sports Minister had written to the then Finance Minister to write to the World Bank Country Boss to enable then access the funds.
Source: Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson/ thePublisher