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Even at gunpoint; I know MDPI, Assibit did work they were supposed to do – Abuga Pele speaks after incarceration

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“It was said that I abetted the MDPI to take that money they took because they did not do the work but they did the work. I know they did the work. Today, even at gunpoint, I know they did the work. Otherwise, the World Bank would not have agreed to make payments. Even the minister felt the work was done. I don’t want to delve into the rightness or wrongness of my prosecution. I had to carry the cross.”

Abuga Pele, the embattled National Coordinator of GYEEDA said when he spoke in his first exclusive media interview with A1 Radio’s Mark Kwas Ahumah Smith.

The former NDC MP was sentenced to six-year imprisonment by an Accra High Court in 2018, for causing financial loss to the state while he was the National Coordinator of the now defunct Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency [GYEEDA].

He was said to have acted in a manner that resulted in the loss of GH¢4.1 million by the government, after businessman Phillip Akpeena Assibit had made false claims that he had secured a $65-million World Bank funding for the creation of one million jobs for the youth.

Abuga Pele was found guilty on two counts of abetment of fraud and five counts of willfully causing financial loss to the state and received six years for abetment of fraud and four years for willfully causing financial loss to the state, both to be served concurrently.

Mr. Pele was however insistent that he had done nothing wrong.

“I said the truth would come out because, there were many sides to the issue that nobody looked at. For instance, the proposal that was written at the Ministry by the Minister, the proposal that he finalized with Assibit, was hidden from me. They did not give me a copy and the security ensured that I did not get a copy. That copy would have shown that I had nothing whatsoever to do with this contract.”

Mr. Pele said that the copy may have been hidden “in order for them to be able to prosecute me.”

“Yes, the work was done. That is my view, and the view of many other people. But to people from outside and at the government level, they were of the view that work had not been done. In fact, that was what they were saying at the court. They produced the proposal, the proposal had been signed by the Country Director of World Bank. World Bank had accepted it. They reduced it to manageable terms, they approved it. They started spending the money and yet they said no work was done.”

“Can you believe this? It was even stated in court that World Bank never stated that they will give us any money. Despite all letters I had shown, addressed to myself and the Ministry, with cabinet approval, with the Minster’s approval and everything, it was all ignored.”

“Even at one point, can you believe that the prosecution forged a letter and when they gave it to me, I realised that that was not my signature.”

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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