Abuga Pele released from jail following pardon by President Akufo-Addo

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

He was serving a six-year jail term for causing financial loss to the state.

However, he was admitted to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, formerly Ridge Hospital, for some health challenges and was in a critical condition at the High Dependency Unit (HDU) of the hospital after he was taken there from the Nsawam Maximum Security Prison.

Mr Pele, a former Member of Parliament for Chiana/Paga in the Upper East Region and a businessman, Mr Philip Akpeena Assibit, were sentenced to a total of 18 years in prison on February 23, 2018 for their involvement in the GH¢4.1 million GYEEDA scandal.

The two were put before court in 2014.

The court concluded that Mr Pele entered into an unlawful agreement with Mr Assibit, prevailing on the state to make payments when no work had been done.

He served about three years at the Nsawam Maximum Security Prison from where he was rushed to the hospital on health grounds last week.

False claims

Mr Assibit on his part made false claims for payments to the tune of GH¢ 3.3 million as services provided to the erstwhile National Youth Employment Programme.

The said amount included developing an exit programme and securing a grant of GH¢65 million from the World Bank.

Pele, who is also a former Member of Parliament for Chiana-Paga in the Upper East Region, is serving six years, while Assibit is serving 12 years in prison.

Lower sentence

The former MP was slapped with a lower sentence because the court held that there “was no evidence that he benefited from the proceeds of the crime.”

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

Source: Graphicsonline