Gov’t Fires NDC Over Menzgold

Kojo Oppong Nkrumah

The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has parried
an attempt by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to link
President Akufo-Addo and some top government officials to the Menzgold Ghana
Limited scandal that is unraveling.

In a statement issued yesterday in Accra, the
Information Ministry said: “On no occasion has President Akufo-Addo endorsed
the operations of Menzgold or its directors. Government has also not aided the
operations of the company, as is being bandied about by officials and members
of the National Democratic Congress (NDC).”

It said the NDC was making shameful attempts to
take advantage of the pain and loss of victims, which smacked of political
desperation.

“Indeed, suggestions that all public figures who
have been sighted in photographs with officials of the company are complicit in
the company’s dealings are laughable, and underline the insensitivity of such
political actors to the ongoing situation.”

The opposition NDC has been trying in recent times
to link government to the beleaguered Menzgold business, but it has come out to
debunk such claims.

“It cannot be said that traditional, religious,
entertainment, business and political figures, who took photographs with
officials of the company are complicit in their operations and the alleged
fraud perpetuated on customers. Such suggestions reduce the serious misfortune
of customers to cheap ridicule and are distasteful.”

Nervousness

“Attempts by leading members of the opposition NDC
to claim that the company commenced its operations in 2017 and thus, the
current administration ought to be blamed for the misfortune only expose the
desperation of the opposition party.

“MenzGold, for the records, began its operations
as far back as 2013 in the era of President John Dramani Mahama.”

It said Menzgold was not licensed by the Bank of Ghana
(BoG) or Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its operations were not
regulated by the two.

“However, such warning was made as far back as April
2016, and unfortunately was disregarded by many customers of Menzgold.

Education

“In the case of banks and specialized deposit taking
institutions, as well as asset management companies licensed and regulated by
BOG and SEC, the regulators had the legal mandate to intervene in their matters
in accordance with law.

DKM, for example, was licensed by BoG, the reason
why it helped retrieve and restore the monies of depositors. Menzgold was,
however, registered and also operated as a trading company.”

Go To
Court

The Ministry disclosed that customers whose
contractual obligations had not been met by the company are entitled to seek legal
remedy to retrieve their funds paid to the company
ostensibly to invest and buy gold.

“Some customers have exercised that legal mandate
and have either filed writs in the courts to retrieve their monies or reported
the company and its directors to the security agencies on the suspicion of defrauding
by false pretenses.”

“The Ghana Police Service has subsequently issued an
arrest warrant pursuant to such reports, and has, accordingly, informed
Interpol to assist in the search for and arrest of Nana Appiah Mensah and two
others to help in police investigations. We encourage aggrieved customers to join
such actions.”

Nana
Addo’s picture with NAM1

“It must also be put on record that President
Akufo-Addo has never endorsed the company, its officials or its operations. Indeed,
the President has never posted any tweet on his official Twitter handle
expressing his admiration for the “success story” of Nana Appiah Mensah. It’s
also important to debunk the NDC’s use of a photograph taken at Jubilee House
where Nana Appiah Mensah is seen.

“In that photograph, officials of the GFA and CAF,
including its President, Ahmad Ahmad, paid a courtesy call on President
Akufo-Addo on 25th April, 2018, a day before the University of
Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), was to confer an honorary doctorate degree
on the CAF President. The then GFA President, Kwesi Nyantakyi, invited Nana
Appiah Mensah to that meeting because his company, Zylofon, on the 21st
of April, 2018, four days before the meeting, had signaled its intention to
sponsor the Ghana Premier League.

“The President never had a one-on-one meeting with
Nana Appiah Mensah as the NDC would want Ghanaians to believe. Again, the company
and its officials have never been
part of any government delegation accompanying the President on any
presidential visit. Speculations that the company acquired 85% of its clients
in the last 24 months are also an obviously cheap attempt to link government to
a very unfortunate situation.

“It must be put on record that the regulators of
Ghana’s financial services sector, namely the BoG and the SEC had, on numerous
occasions over the years, warned customers of Menzgold to desist from investing
monies in the company, as it was not a licensed deposit or asset management
company.

In all of such instances, the company and some of
its customers, responded with explanations that they were not in the business
of deposit or asset taking, but were rather a gold trading firm.

State
not responsible

“While government sympathizes with customers on the difficulties encountered in their transactions with Menzgold, the state cannot and will not resort to the use of taxpayer’s monies to refund monies of customers,” the Ministry added.

BY Samuel Boadi

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