GYEEDA Scandal: Assibit to appeal jail terms
Lawyer Kwaku Paintsil, counsel for Philip Assibit who has been sentenced to 12 years imprisonment by the Financial Division of the High Court has indicated he’ll file for an appeal of the sentence against his client at the Court of Appeal.
According to him, he’ll pursue the appellate court to set aside the ruling by the High Court.
Businessman Philip Assibit was on Friday, February 23, 2018, sentenced to 12 years imprisonment together with former boss of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), Abuga Pele who is to serve 6 years jail term for causing financial loss of GHC 4.1 million to the state.
According to the trial judge, Justice Afia Serwaa Asare-Botwe, information from the World Bank indicated that the first accused person in the GYEEDA trial, Philip Assibit did not secure any $65 million from the World Bank.
The court said Assibit made a false representation by claiming a fee on no work done and found him guilty of defrauding by false pretense.
Pele was alleged to have recommended payment of the said amount to Assibit, with the explanation that Assibit had secured a $65 million facility from the World Bank for a Youth Enterprise Development Programme (YEDP), trained 250 youth as well as conducted tracer studies for an exit strategy for the said youth.
Justice Asare-Botwe said prosecution proved beyond doubt that the former GYEEDA coordinator, Abuga Pele was guilty of 2 counts of abetment to crime and willfully causing financial loss to the state.
The two were facing 19 counts of charges including Defrauding by false pretense, abetment of crime, dishonestly causing financial loss and wilfully causing financial loss to the state.
The state accused Assibit 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. Pele is alleged to have acted in a manner resulting in the loss of the amount.
But speaking to Kasapa FM’s Court Correspondent, Daakyehene Ofosu Agyeman, Lawyer Kwaku Paintsil expressed shock at the judgement that has been delivered, saying he least expected such sentence to be handed Philip Assibit.
“There are not clear cut guidelines for sentencing in this country. The Judge in her wisdom has handed down the ruling but we’ll contest it at the Court of Appeal. My client has been convicted, I pray the court to reverse the decision of the High Court, set aside the conviction.”