- Businessman convicted with former lawmaker Abuga Pele begged the court for a lenient sentence
- Lawyers for Philip Assibit pleaded with the trial judge not to give their client a 'very long jail-term' because he is a chief who has "unnumbered children"
Business man and CEO of Goodwill International Group (GIG), Philip Assibit, reportedly pleaded for a lenient sentence after being convicted in connection with the GYEEDA scandal.
The businessman was convicted together with former Member of Parliament for Chiana-Paga, Abuga Pele, by an Accra High court.
The court – presided over by Justice Afia Serwaah Asare Botwe – handed the former MP a six-year jail-term, while Mr Assibit was given 12 years.
This was after it was found that the two had misappropriated state funds to a tune of GHc3.3 million whiles supervising the GYEEDA project.
However, in a rather intriguing twist, it has been revealed that the accused persons pleaded for shorter jail terms despite their crimes.
Joy News reports that lawyers for Philip Assibit pleaded with the trial judge not to give their client a 'very long jail-term' because he is a chief who has "unnumbered children."
One of their arguments was that the Nsawam prison was full and would be unable to accommodate more inmates.
Legal counsel for Mr. Assibit, Kwaku Paintsil, further asked the court to show mercy on his client by giving him a maximum six-month jail term.
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According to him, convicting the accused for a lengthy jail term was likely to affect his family as well as the community where he is chief.
Lawyers for Mr. Pele tolled the same line and begged the court to hand him a lenient sentence.
However, their requests were not granted, with Justice Afia Serwaah Asare Botwe going ahead to convict the duo.
Meanwhile some members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have criticized the length of the sentence.
One of those is former Minister for Youth and Sports, Rashid Pelpuo, who believes the verdict was harsh.
Speaking in an interview with Accra-based Joy FM, he said: "It has come with a measure of shock and a very painful experience.I have worked with him, I was a minister when he was the coordinator [but] I wish him well."
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