Former GYEEDA boss

President Nana Akufo-Addo has granted a presidential pardon to Abuga Pele, a former National Coordinator of the now-defunct Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), who is currently serving a six-year jail term for causing financial loss to the state.

The pardon was on health grounds.

Mr Pele was admitted to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge Hospital) for some health challenges in early June this year.

A source at the hospital, at the time, confirmed that Mr Pele was in critical condition at the High Dependency Unit (HDU), after he was taken there from the Nsawam Maximum Security Prison.

It is not clear what the hospital treated the incarcerated politician for.

“He is currently on level two so that is a critical condition,” the website of state-owned Daily Graphic quoted the source as saying.

Mr Pele and businessman 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.

Mr Assibit, for 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.

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

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.”

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