BREAKING: Abuga Pele, Assibit jailed 18 years

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A High Court has convicted a former top government official, Abuga Pele and a private service provider, Philip Assibit, after they were found guilty of 19 counts including dishonestly causing financial loss to the state.

The Court was satisfied that the prosecution had proved 13 of the 19 counts Abuga Pele faced ranging from aiding and abetting crime to willfully causing financial loss to the state.

Some of the counts included intentionally misapplying public property and dishonestly causing loss to public property.

His counterpart Philip Akpeena Assibit who was CEO of Goodwill International Ghana (GIG) was found guilty of six of the 19 counts he faced including defrauding by false pretence.

The two have since 2014 been before the court. Mr Assibit is accused of putting in a false claim for payments to the tune of 3.3million cedis as services provided the then NYEP.

This included developing an exit program and securing a grant of 65million cedis from the World Bank.

Mr Pele is alleged to have entered into the agreement with Mr Assibit and prevailed upon the state to make payments when no work has been done.

Before sentencing, the lawyers pleaded the presiding judge Justice Afia Serwaah Asare Botwe for lenient sentences.

The legal counsel for Phillip Assibit asked for not more than six months. The lawyer, Kwaku Paintsil, explained the prisons are full and his client is a chief and an entrepreneur who has an "unnumbered children"

On his part, Abuga Pele's legal counsel Abu Juan also asked for not more than six months explaining his client is a former Member of Parliament and was actually an MP when the trial started.

They believe he lost his Chiana Paga seat in the Upper East Regional parliamentary primaries as a result of this case and that he has a family.

State Attorney Evelyn Keelson asking for a sentence within limit. She also wants asset recovery. Delivering her sentence inside a locked courtroom, Justice Afia Serwaah handed down a combined jail term of

Abuga Pele goes in for six years while Philip Assibit was jailed 12 years.

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OPHILS: BREAKING: Abuga Pele, Assibit jailed 18 years
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