Absence of witness leads to GYEEDA case adjournment
Hearing of the GH¢4.1 million Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) trial was adjourned yesterday because a prosecution witness who was billed to testify was out of the jurisdiction.
A Chief State Attorney, Mrs Evelyn Keelson, informed the Financial Division of the High Court, presided over by Mrs Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, that the state’s next witness was out of the country.
It would be recalled that on February 23, 2015, Mrs Keelson informed the court that the witness was likely to be in town before yesterday’s sitting.
The presiding judge did not take kindly to the prosecution’s explanation with the reason that the court had to adjourn most of the cases it was billed to hear to pave the way for the GYEEDA hearing.
Nonetheless, Mrs Keelson maintained that her office got wind of the inability of the witness to appear on Tuesday night.
The court, therefore, adjourned the case to March 17, 2015.
An Accounts Officer on February 23, 2015, told the court that he processed six different cheques totalling GH¢4.1 million for payment to two entities and an individual.
Eric Sunu, a staff member of the Controller and Accountant General’s Department (CAGD), who was attached to the GYEEDA office, told the court that he processed the cheques for payment to the Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI) and Goodwill International Group (GIG) after his bosses had given their approval.
The witness explained that five of the cheques were issued in the name of MDPI/GIG while the sixth cheque of GH¢835,000 was issued in the name of Philip Akpeena Assibit for conducting tracer studies.
Abuga Pele, a former National Coordinator of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), and Philip Assibit, a consultant, are charged with causing financial loss to the state.
Abuga Pele, who is the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Chiana-Paga, has pleaded not guilty to charges of abetment of crime and defrauding by false pretence and intentionally misapplying public property.
He has been granted self-recognisance bail.
Assibit, on the other hand, is charged with defrauding by false pretence and dishonestly causing loss to public property and is on a GH¢2 million bail with four sureties.
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, resulting in the government parting with GH¢4.1 million.
Pele is alleged to have acted in a manner resulting in the loss of the amount to the state.