General News of Thursday, 20 July 2017
A defence witness in the trial of the two persons allegedly involved in the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) scandal, is accusing state actors of conspiring against the trial.
Jacob Adongo, a Director for the Gender and Disability of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), stated that some state actors have denied the court the relevant documents required for the trial.
The third witness, under cross-examination at the Accra Financial Crimes Court, noted that the development would affect the determination of the case.
He said, “It could be described as a grand scheme by some state actors, excluding this court, to deny officialdom of the NYEP and the defence witnesses very relevant documents to assist the court to come to any determination of the matter.”
Mr. Adongo continued: “Our documents, including the Service Agreement, is yet to come from EOCO, and how the AG’s Department can conveniently forget the agreement, supposedly prepared by the then AG is a matter of concern.”
According to him, Clement Kofi Humado, the former Sports Minister, who gave all the approvals, for very strange reasons became a prosecution witness in the trial.
The Director for Gender and Disability of the YEA, who appeared unperturbed by some threats on his life, added “I have no reason in my mind and my conscience is very free that this trial was conveniently made-up to deny the accused persons a fair trial.”
The former National Coordinator of GYEEDA and NDC MP for Chiana Paga, Abuga Pele together with Philip Akpeena Assibit are standing trial for the various roles they played in the GYEEDA scam.
The Attorney General’s Department said the accused persons caused huge financial loss to the state.
Assibit is being accused of putting in false claims that he had secured $65-million World Bank funding for the creation of one million jobs for the youth, which led government to part with GH¢ 41.1 million.
In an answer to a question from Evelyn Keelson, a Principal State Attorney at Attorney General’s Department, Mr. Adongo said he was not aware Assibit owns Goodwill International Group (GIG), adding that all he knows is that Assibit is the managing consultant of GIG and used to come with some consultants and directors.
Speaking particularly to a supposed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NYEP and GIG, the witness said the MoU was not used.
He explained that “there could have been several documents but what I know is that management authorised Abuga Pele to write to GIG on its working relationship that will see NYEP find employment for young people in the private sector.”
Mr. Adongo said when Humado took over as minister, he told management that he had been appointed by the late President Mills to sanitize the system.
He said at the time, NYEP was just a programme and the minister asked them to regularize all contracts, arguing that as a result, NYEP only worked based on ministerial directions.
“It was then that the Service Agreement came to the AG’s Department and through to the minister’s office which was signed.”
According to the Director for the Gender and Disability at the YEA, the auditor at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Chief Director, the Minister himself and the NYEP Monitoring Team “will not sign for any payment to be made to GIG without any contractual agreement.”
Ms. Keelson opined that the said MoU signed on July 22, 2010, which was the only agreement with the NYEP and GIG, had nothing to do with consultancy services.
She said the MoU indicated that both NYEP and GIG were strategic partners.
To that, Adongo said the parties did not work with the said MoU the lawyer was referring to.
Ms. Keelson, among others, told the court that Humado never signed the contract of Service Agreement.