General News of 2014-01-25

GYEEDA rot: Gov’t mustn’t scapegoat Pele - Jake

Chairman of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey says Abuga Pele is not the only one that must take the fall in connection with the rot at the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).

“What about those who caused financial loss to the state by approving the payments to Woyome? What about those who caused financial loss to the state by a number of other contracts that had been fraudulently awarded for no work to be done and huge amounts of money to be paid?”

Mr Obetsebi-Lamptey told Strict Proof on Radio XYZ Friday that inasmuch as he welcomes the prosecution, “…let’s see what happens to it and let’s see what happens to others who are caught up in the same net”.

The former Coordinator of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), now GYEEDA, is facing 8 counts, including defrauding by false pretences and aiding and abetting crime.

Pele and the CEO of Goodwill International Group were in court Friday to respond to a total of 19 charges leveled against them.

The two were granted bail. They insist their hands are clean.

The prosecution of the two men comes on the heels of a recent assurance given to Ghanaians by Information and Media Relations Minister Mahama Ayariga that President John Mahama will not spare any big fishes found culpable in the whole GYEEDA rot.

The programme, which was meant to be a stop gap solution to youth unemployment, has been fraught with corruption.

Rlg Communications and ACI were recently directed to refund Ghc55 million to the state. The money was allegedly paid fraudulently.

The Government on January 9, 2014 terminated all service contracts between GYEEDA and its service providers, including Rlg Communication's training module, Asongtaba Cottage Industry & Exchange Programme (ACI&EP) and the Better Ghana Management Services Limited, a subsidiary of Jospong Group, the parent company of Zoomlion.

A letter to that effect, signed by the Chief Director of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Alhaji Abdulai Yakubu, and addressed to the service providers, said: "I am directed to convey to you, Government's decision to discontinue or terminate the contract with immediate effect".

"You are hereby requested to continue to have engagements with the Attorney General's Department and Ministry of Justice on your liabilities to GYEEDA and ensure the refund of same to Government", it added.