General News of 2014-01-27

GYEEDA rot: I did nothing wrong - Pele

The former National Coordinator of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) says he is innocent of criminal charges leveled against him in connection with the implementation of the programme.

“I think I am perfectly safe in my conscience’’, Mr Pele said Monday.

Pele and the Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill International Group, Philip Akpeena Assibit are facing a total of 19 charges including causing financial loss to the state of about US$3 million and defrauding by false pretences.

Rechristened Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), the unemployment-fighting programme has been fraught with a litany of corruption allegations which led to the cancellation of most of the contracts signed between the Government and certain private firms.

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 temporary solution to youth unemployment, has been fraught with corruption.

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.

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

Chairman of the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), Jake Obetsebi-Lamptey recently told XYZ News that Abuga Pele is not the only one that must take the fall for the corruption at GYEEDA.

Mr Pele told Accra-based Joy FM on Monday that he trusts the Court to be fair in its hearing.

“The Court system here is very fair-minded and just and I know that I will be given fair trial if it comes to that.’’

Source: XYZ
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