Former Roads and Highways Minister, Inusah Fuseini, has dismissed the suggestion that incarcerated former National Coordinator of the defunct Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), Abuga Pele, may have been a victim of circumstances.
According to the Member of Parliament for Tamale Central, Mr. Pele failed to thoroughly interrogate a partnership deal between the agency and Philip Assibit’s Goodwill International Ghana, to train some 100,000 youth in oil and gas.
Both Abuga Pele and Philip Assibit were handed jail terms of 6 years and 12 years respectively, Friday, after they were found guilty of 19 counts including dishonestly causing financial loss to the state.
Assibit (left) and Abuga Pele
The Financial and Economic Crimes Division of the Accra High Court, presided over by Mrs Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, found Assibit guilty 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.
The court also found Pele guilty of acting in a manner that resulted in the loss of the amount to the state.
Watch: Pele and Assibit jailed 18 years
JoyNews’ investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni whose exposé on the GYEEDA rot resulted in the investigation and prosecution, had indicated that the former GYEEDA Boss was sacrificed while some notable persons involved in bigger scandals have been left off the hook.
According to Manasseh, Abuga Pele signaled the Youth and Sports Minister at the time, Kofi Humado about the development and went a step further to include it in his handing over note.
However, commenting on the judgement on weekly news analysis programme, Newsfile on Joy FM Saturday, Inusah Fuseini was categorical that Mr. Pele, a former MP for Chiana Paga constituency, could have avoided the calamity that has befallen him.
In the view of the MP, Abuga Pele’s notice to his supervisor was clearly “an afterthought”.
“What convinced you [Pele] that Assibit would be able to access such money from the World Bank? You should be able to tell us about what convinced you. And that, even before he [Assibit] accessed that money you paid a commission; what is that,” he quizzed
“Probably after having been led along the line he then came to the realisation that [probably] he was moving on the wrong path [then] he started applying the breaks,” Inusah stated while sympathising with the former Parliamentarian whom he said was his senior in the middle school.
He also noted that, it was a difficult decision then President John Mahama, had to take to hand one of his appointees over for prosecution because of how close the two men were connected.
“I can speak of the relationship between Abuga Pele and the President [John Mhama] and I know that it was a difficult decision [for Mahama] to refer him to the investigating authorities. It was quite difficult.”
Watch: Abuga Pele, Assibit convicted over GYEEDA rot...Long overdue?