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Assibit never designed exit strategy for NYEP-witness

Accra, March 18, GNA – A witness in the GYEEDA case has revealed that Mr Philip Akpeena Assibit never designed any exit strategy for the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) as being purported.

Accra, March 18, GNA – A witness in the GYEEDA case has revealed that Mr Philip Akpeena Assibit never designed any exit strategy for the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) as being purported.

     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 41.1 million Ghana cedis to the state.

     Mrs Diana Adu Anane, the Deputy Staff Officer with the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), told an Accra Fast Track High Court that from the inception of the programme, there was an exit strategy developed. 

     She said it was, therefore, strange for Mr Assibit to claim payment for designing the already existing exit strategy for GTEEDA.

     “I find it strange for Assibit to demand payment for work not done,” she added.

     She said in a claim letter written by the accused person (Assibit) to GYEEDA, he put in four claims including recruiting 250 youth and giving them orientation, securing a $ 65 million World Bank facility for GYEEDA and conducting tracer studies.

     The witness, who is also an investigator, revealed that, investigation indicated a concept paper was sent to the World Bank on behalf of GYEEDA but was rejected and re-directed to a World Bank desk at the Ministry of Finance.

     She said when Mr Assibit was questioned about what efforts he made to secure the World Bank facility, the accused presented a document titled “Youth Employment Action Plan and Exit Strategy.”

     Mrs Adu Anane said the accused person said he prepared the document with assistance from some staff of Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI).

     “On the front page of the document is the names of Mr Assibit, Mr Pele and Mr Kofi Humado, the former Minister of Youth and Sport,” she said.

     She said a check revealed that the former Minister was not aware of any such document but his name was on it but Mr Pele was aware of the document in question.

     The Investigator also said not convinced, she decided to Google the title of the document on the internet and what she found was that it was a country report from Serbia.

     She further indicated that where “Serbia” was used in the document, the accused person replaced it with the word “Ghana”.

     “It is a word-for-word copy from the internet,” she added.

     She also said a check at the World Bank desk at the Ministry of Finance revealed that Mr Assibit had no interaction with any official of the Bank.

     The prosecution witness explained that, according to investigations, in accessing the World Bank facility, there were four stages and Ghana was still at the first stage, which was the preparatory stage.

     She said through their investigation, EOCO got to know that government formally wrote to the World Bank on November 2012, to access funds for the first stage of four processes.

     She said in a claimed letter written by Mr Assibit, he indicated to management of GYEEDA that, he had written a request letter to World Bank on April 13, 2013, for funds to be released.

     The seventh prosecution witness, in ending her evidence in chief tendered investigation caution statements and other documents. 

     The state has accused Assibit of putting in false claims that he had secured a $65-million World Bank funding for the creation of one million jobs for the youth, which led government to part with GH₵ 4.1 million.

     Mr Pele is also alleged to have entered into a contract with Assibit to engage in activities which have injured the state financially.

     They have both pleaded not guilty to all charges and are on bail.

     The case has since been adjourned to Tuesday, April 14.

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