Family members of the former Member of Parliament (MP) for Chiana-Paga, Abuga Pele have accused some top officials of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) of instigating the incarceration of the former MP.
Speaking to Today via telephone shortly after an Accra High Court on Friday, February 23, 2018 had sentenced the former National Coordinator of the defunct Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Agency(GYEEDA) to six years imprisonment, the younger brother of Abuga Pele, Apewa Pele alleged that some NDC top guns were behind his brother’s predicament.
Although he failed to mention names, he insisted his bother’s enemies in the party were responsible for his imprisonment.
“My brother (referring to this reporter) tell me whose regime was my senior brother sent to court? Wasn’t the tenure of the former President John Dramani Mahama, so what are they talking about”, he asked?
“We the family members think the judgment given to my brother today (referring to last week Friday) by the court was unfair based on the pieces of evidence we all witnessed at the court”, he averred.
“We are so sad and we want something to be done about this. The country is not going the right way. We should not leave the facts out and deal with lies”, he intimated.
He contended that, none of the prosecution witnesses was able to make a reasonable case against Mr. Pele, saying “the seven witnesses they brought none of them could point out that work was not done, yet the money was paid”.
Meanwhile residents of Chiana-Paga in the Upper East Region have appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Akufo-Addo to pardon the former GYEEDA boss.
Some residents who spoke on Joy FM at the weekend said, they were saddened by the fate that has befallen their former legislator.
“…we are very sad by what has happened because Pele is not only our former MP but he is also the father of the constituency,” one aggrieved resident said.
“We are appealing to His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo, they should put politics aside and help Abuga Pele to come out,” another man also said.
But unlike residents of Chiana-Pag, MP for Odododiodio, Edwin Nii Lante Vanderpuye, had indicated that the NDC will do anything possible to win the 2020 general elections so as to ensure the release of their former colleague MP from prison.
Mr. Vanderpuye stressed that the NDC’s morale remains high ahead of the 2020 elections despite the incarceration of Pele, adding that the party was on course to regain power.
“It is unfortunate but I can only say that this will not dampen the spirit of the NDC. Between 2001 and 2004, they sentenced Tsatsu Tsikata, Dan Abodakpi, Ibrahim Adam and Kwame Perprah. It did not stop us from winning elections in 2008. We are going to win the elections and bring Abuga Pele out,” the MP told journalists after the party’s sixth Unity Walk at Somanya in the Eastern Region on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
However, former Roads and Highways Minister, Inusah Fuseini, had dismissed assertions that former GYEEDA boss was a mere victim of circumstances.
He blamed Abuga Pele for not practising due diligence.
Mr. Fuseini on Joy FM on Saturday, February 24, 2018 said that, Abuga Pele could have avoided this fate if he had practised due diligence.
Mr. Pele, was convicted on 19 counts including ‘willfully causing financial loss to the state’.
His accomplice, Philip Assibit, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill International Group, was also found guilty on six counts including defrauding by false pretenses and accordingly sentenced to 12 years
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.
The two have since 2014 been before the court. Mr Assibit was 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 programme and securing a grant of 65million cedis from the World Bank.
Mr Pele was alleged to have entered into the agreement with Mr Assibit and prevailed upon the state to make payments when no work had been done.
Story: Atta KWAKU BOADI
Writer’s email: email@example.com