Akufo-Addo pardons former GYEEDA boss Abuga Pele

President Akufo-Addo has granted a presidential pardon to former National Coordinator of the now-defunct Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), Abuga Pele, on health grounds.

The former Member of Parliament (MP) for Chiana/Paga has been serving a six-year jail term for causing financial loss to the state since 2018.

Mr Pele was admitted to the High Dependency Unit (HDU) of the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge Hospital) for some health challenges early June after his health condition got critical.

In 2014, Pele and a businessman, Philip Assibit, were arraigned on the charge of causing financial loss to the state.

They were convicted in 2018, but Pele was handed a lighter sentence, compared to Assibit’s 12-year sentence.

He was said to have acted in a manner that resulted in the loss of GH¢4.1 million by 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.

Assibit, in particular, was charged with taking payments of up to GH¢ 3.3 million from GYEEDA under false pretences of carrying out work for the National Youth Employment Programme.

Abuga Pele was found guilty on two counts of abetment of fraud and five counts of wilfully causing financial loss to the state.

Pele came under national scrutiny after the failure of certain projects under his auspices at GYEEDA.

He had been appointed to the agency by ex-President John Mahama. GYEEDA was charged with investing in the entrepreneurial ambitions of young Ghanaians, as well as harnessing human resources for national development.

However, GYEEDA came to be associated with the infamous ‘Guinea Fowl To Burkina Faso’ incident that has become a clichéd expression in  Ghanaian politics.

In her ruling, presiding judge Justice Afia Serwaah Asare Botwe said that there was no evidence that Pele directly benefited from the unaccounted monies at GYEEDA. This was after Pele’s lawyers had pleaded for leniency.

READ ALSO: Abuga Pele Now Football Coach In Prison – Ofosu-Ampofo

The National Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, disclosed last year that the incarcerated MP, Abuga Pele, had turned into a football coach at the Nsawam Medium Prison.

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo said this to the media after a donation exercise at the Nsawam Prisons, adding that Mr Pele was also serving as a teacher, assisting academically, some inmates.

“When we went, he was on the field coaching a team. Two teams were playing, and we were told that he is a coach of one of the teams,” he said.

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