Assibit forged signature and letterhead of MDPI— EOCO investigator

GYEEDA-Abuga-Pele-Philip-Akpeena-Assibit-Kofi-HumadoAn investigator at the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), yesterday informed the Financial and Tax High Court that Philip Assibit, an accused in the ongoing Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) case, forged the signature and letter head of the Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI) to make claims of non-existent contract and agreement between him and the agency.

Mrs. Dina Adu Anane, the investigator, said this was based on investigations conducted by EOCO into the GYEEDA saga.

She said apart from the oil and gas training which Assibit’s firm, Goodwill International Group provided, for which GH¢8 million was claimed, all other agreements were a fiasco.

Led in evidence by Mrs. Evelyn Keelson, Principal State Attorney, witness, the seventh to testify in the GH¢4.1 million fraud case against the state said further probing of documents obtained from the Bank of Ghana, Ministry of Youth and Sports and MDPI indicated that Assibit was not the Managing Consultant to the MDPI, as he claimed.

She said a joint team of EOCO and the Criminal Investigations Department, led by Chief Superintendent Felix Mawusi, undertook the said investigations which implicated Mr. Abuga Pele, the then GYEEDA co-ordinator and Assibit the Managing Director of Goodwill International Group.

The investigator said it was on record that the accused had received two separate payments of GH¢ 8 million and US$2 million respectively, pertaining to the contract he (Assibit) purported he had with GYEEDA.

She said documents perused by the investigative team, pointed out that neither was Assibit the managing consultant of MDPI nor did he pre-finance any contract to warrant any payment.

“My Lord, Dr. Sulley Gariba, the then Director of MDPI, was surprised when we showed him a claim bearing the letter head of MDPI and a signature by Assibit to GYEEDA,” she said.

“It was discovered in the series of documents we examined that there was no consortium between GIG and MPDI,” she empahised.

She said the third agreement was also not operationalised, because funding was not secured from the World Bank.

To buttress her statement, she said the Ministry of Sports denied knowledge of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Abuga Pele and Assibit detailing the terms of work to be rendered by GIG.

The document, which the prosecution sought to tender in court was objected to by Raymond Bagnabu and Carl Adongo, on grounds which the counsel alleged was the creation of the prosecution.

The Presiding Judge, Mrs. Efia Asare Serwah-Botwe, however, admitted the tendering of the document, saying, “I am going to write a ruling and read it in court tomorrow.

For Mr. Bagnabu, his client, Assibit never surrendered such document to EOCO, saying that the accused would have admitted if he had presented it to the office.

Mr. Adongo said the basis for his objection was the chronological arrangement of the pages.

According to him, the last page which was the matter in contention, should have been numbered ‘12’ instead of 5.

“The document tendered numbered 1 to 11 and instead of 12, the last page was numbered ‘5’; this we cannot allow,” he said.

The prosecution however, held that the witness has explained how the team procured the document, adding that both documents were earlier tendered in court as exhibits and were relevant to the case.

By Malik Sullemana      

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