Mahama Caught In Menzgold Double Standards

Former President John Mahama has made a volte-face after promising to sort out Menzgold customers when elected on December 7.

He is now saying that he never promised to pay Menzgold customers although he is on record to have made that promise in Tarkwa in the Western Region just two weeks ago.

During his campaign tour of the region, Mr. Mahama made astonishing claims in Tarkwa that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration was offering protection for Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM1), who was in court over the supposed missing investments of customers in the infamous Menzgold Ghana Limited scandal.

He had said “the person behind this scam is walking freely but the police are quick to go after the innocent customers who are demonstrating for their moneys,” adding, “This government knows the directors and the owner of Menzgold, so why are they walking freely? It is not right.”

He then accused the police of brutalities, saying, “When the customers decide to demonstrate, they are beaten by the police and some arrested but by God’s grace, the NDC will come back to power.”

Mr. Mahama later promised that “the next NDC government will probe this Menzgold saga and those who took your money, we will take it from them and give it back to you. Every property they have hidden, we will look for them, confiscate them and refund your money.”

NDC representatives like Sammy Gyamfi and George Opare Addo have always been emphatic that the NDC’s people’s manifesto captured defunct financial institutions’ issues including Menzgold; and said they would sort them out.

However, during an interview on Starr FM in Accra on Tuesday, Mahama said he promised to investigate the issue and not pay the Menzgold customers.

“I have never said I will pay Menzgold customers, I said we will investigate and find out what is the extent of indebtedness, what are the assets of the company? Are there any hidden assets that you can lay hold of and dispose of, and pay some of the customers?”

Menzgold customers have embarked on several protests since the company’s woes, dating back to September 7, 2017, and Mr. Mahama, in the heat of the election, has tried to cash in on the issue.

The company was closed down in 2018 following its legal battle with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC).

SEC described the deposit-taking business of Menzgold as illegal, ordering it to suspend its operations.

Court Trial

NAM1, his wife – Rose Tetteh and his sister – Benedicta Appiah, both of whom are at large, are altogether facing a total of 13 counts of defrauding by false pretences, money laundering, abetment and carrying on deposit-taking business without licence over the Menzgold saga.

The charges include six counts of defrauding by false pretences, abetment, money laundering and carrying on deposit-taking business without licence.

His companies—Menzgold Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Limited—have also been charged with seven counts of defrauding by false pretences and carrying on deposit-taking business without licence.

NAM1, on July 26, pleaded not guilty to all the charges. The court presided over by Jane Harriet Akweley Quaye granted him bail to the tune of GH¢1 billion (about $185 million) with five sureties, three of which were to be justified.

Additionally, he was ordered by the court to report to the police every Wednesday.

Unable to satisfy the bail conditions, the defence team, led by Kwame Boafo Akuffo, later filed an application asking for variation of the terms.

However, the presiding judge, after listening to both sides, though maintained the sum of GH¢1 billion, removed the condition of three of the five sureties to be justified.

By Ernest Kofi Adu