Assibit Opens Defence In GYEEDA Trial

The Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) trial took a dramatic twist yesterday as a supposed offer letter from the Ministry of Youth and Sports to Goodwill International Group (GIG) could not be traced.

The letter from the Coordinator of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) based on which the Contract of Service Agreement was prepared for GIG had gone ‘missing’ in the pile of exhibits in the court.

Philip Akpeena Assibit, Managing Consultant of GIG, opening his defence in court yesterday, offered to furnish the court with a copy of the document today.

Charges
He is in the dock with the former National Coordinator of GYEEDA who is National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Chiana Paga, Abuga Pele, for the various roles they allegedly played in the GYEEDA scam.

The Attorney General’s (AG’s) Department claims that the accused persons caused huge financial loss to the state.

Assibit is being accused 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¢41.1 million.

Evidence
Led in evidence by lawyer Kweku Paintsil, Assibit stated that GIG’s relationship with the NYEP in connection with its consultancy services started with a proposal covered by a letter they wrote to the NYEP management as a follow-up to previous engagements.

He said the GIG had worked with the NYEP in various engagement areas until a point where they had done most of the work before a new minster of youth and sports came and they were called for further engagements.

Mr Assibit said there were correspondences between GIG and NYEP, insisting that the first was a letter with a proposal which he noted was replied to by the NYEP, with another letter accepting their proposal and giving them the                       go-ahead.

He stated that he signed an agreement with the NYEP through the ministry of youth and sports.

“The lawyer of the ministry was tasked to go and sit with the internal auditor and chief director to formalise the initial agreement in a contract which they did and subsequently called GIG/MDPI team for the signing,” he recalled.

The GIG managing consultant continued, “Dr. Shaibu Ahmed Gariba witnessed for me, the minister (signed) for NYEP and the coordinator for NYEP witnessed…”

He further told the Accra Financial Crimes Court presided over by Afia Serwaa Asare Botwe, that he did not receive any payment before the regularization of a contract to provide for consultancy services to the NYEP.

Assibit indicated that GIG received its first payment months after the execution of the work they were expected to do.

Scope Of Contract
Touching on the contract with the NYEP, Mr Assibit said his outfit was to produce an ‘exist’ plan but the then minister, Clement Kofi Humado, advised that the name be changed from an ‘exit plan’ to ‘exist strategy.’

He said per the contact, GIG was also to establish an office for Resource Mobilisation and Project Management which name again Mr. Humado advised to be changed to Resource Mobilisation and Project Development.

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By Jeffrey De-Graft Johnson

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