MDPI Didn’t Receive Payment From Gov’t

The Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI) did not render any service to the government under the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), neither did it receive any payment from the government, Dr. Shaibu Ahmed Gariba, former Director General of MDPI, has said.

Dr. Gariba was testifying on Tuesday in the ongoing trial of the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development (GYEEDA) in which Mr. Abuga Pele and Philip Akpeena Assibit are facing charges of causing financial loss to the state to the tune of GH¢4.1 million.

His testimony, before an Accra Fast Track High Court contradicts the evidence of Phillip Assibit, Executive Director of Goodwill International Group (GIG), who purported the   payment of monies to MDPI for providing consultancy services to him.

Led in evidence by Mrs. Marina Appiah Opare, a Principal State Attorney, Dr. Gariba, who joined MDPI on September 20, 2014, told the court that an initial Memorandum of Agreement and contract was signed between the MDPI and GIG.

Asked whether MPDI had any relationship with NYEP, he responded in the negative saying Assibit introduced Abuga Pele, the former Coordinator to him but MDPI had nothing to do with them.

Dr. Gariba said “I expressed surprise when my attention was drawn at the Economic and Organised Crime Office on invoices bearing MDPI letter heads signed by Assibit.

“My lord, I said that was highly unsual because Assibit doesn’t work for MDPI,” he said.

He said his discussions with Assibit was in respect of a GH¢65 million he (Assibit) said he was sourcing for the government to fund the NYEP.

Dr. Gariba said as part of the training agreement, GIG was expected to provide computers and tables for training of the youth under the ICE module, but only tables were provided and because of that the training did not come on.

When the State Attorney asked him how MDPI does its work, he said they apply for consultancy services in newspaper advertisement and online.

He said MDPI is a subvented agency and does work for public and private institutions as well as individuals.

Answering questions under cross examination by Raymond Bagnabu, the witness denied that GIG pre-funded any activity relating to the NYEP.

When he was asked whether he knew that some staff of MDPI had sat in meetings between GIG and his agency, he said he had no idea.

Mr. Bagnabu then tendered a photocopy of a consultancy agreement of $800,000 signed by the witness and Assibit to which the State Attorney objected.

“My lord, this document has no bearing whatsoever in this case. My lord, in section (51) only relevant documents are admissible,” Mrs. Opare maintained.

However, the presiding judge allowed the tendering of the document, saying that was to test the credibility of the witness.

Hearing continues today.

By Malik Sullemana

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