Pius Enam Hadzide
Pius Enam Hadzide

Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Enam Hadzide, has stated that government cannot be blamed for the current situation of customers of gold dealership firm, Menzgold.

At a press conference on Wednesday January 16, 2019, the National Communications Officer of the National Democratic Congress, (NDC) Sammy Gyamfi said, the government cannot deny its role in the current circumstances surrounding the company’s inability to pay its numerous customers their investments.

Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM 1)
Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM 1)

“After carefully analyzing the facts of the Menzgold saga, we in the NDC have come to the inevitable conclusion that Government is responsible for the present woes of Menzgold customers. The Akufo-Addo government is complicit,” Sammy Gyamfi said.

But responding to the issues in an interview Mr. Hadzide stressed, that arguments thrown out by the main opposition party NDC and its chief communicator did not hold water, describing the statement read at the presser as legally and morally baseless and flawed. Mr. Hadzide hinted that no government in the history of the country, especially the current government could have and can be held liable for the decision of any Ghanaian to invest with Menzgold.

“I suggest strongly that nothing [Sammy Gyamfi] said is compelling enough and no case has been established either in law or morally to compel any government and for that matter the current government, to be held liable for the individual actions and inaction of persons who have engaged themselves in a contract. He has not established any case that is grounded in law that government can be held liable in this Menzgold matter.”

Sammy Gyamfi in his statement also alleged that, NAM1 enjoyed “full state honours” during the current government’s tenure. He added that this boosted the image of both NAM1 and Menzgold, an act Sammy Gyamfi claims encouraged more people to invest with the company.

“Government cannot feign ignorance of the events that have led to where we are today in a desperate attempt to shirk its responsibility of ensuring that Menzgold customers are paid back their investments”, Sammy Gyamfi added.

However, Mr Hadzide in a quick rebuttal noted that government was obligated to compensate customers of DKM as the savings and loans firm was fully licensed and that their situation happened due to failure of state regulators to properly supervise the operations of DKM and that same cannot be said of MenzGold.

“The two scenarios are entirely different. In the case of DKM, it was fully registered and fell under the purview of a certain state regulatory body. It was the state’s responsibility to have kept an eye on their operations having issued a license for the company to conduct business in that area. But lets be honest, same cannot be said for Menzgold. Menzgold as we have been made aware by the BOG and SEC, were operating outside the jurisdictions of these two regulators. It has been established clearly that Menzgold was not operating within any licences given by relevant state authorities and did not come under the direct purview of any regulatory body. There’s a clear distinction”, Mr. Hadzide stressed.

Menzgold was asked to suspend its gold trading operations with the public by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Menzgold had been dealing in the purchase and deposit of gold collectables from the public and issuing contracts with guaranteed returns with clients, without a valid license from the Commission.

This, the SEC said was in contravention of section 109 of Act 929 with consequences under section 2016 (I) of the same Act. Menzgold’s Chief Executive Officer, Nana Appiah Mensah, has been under arrest in the United Arab Emirates since December 08, 2018.

Mr. Hadzide confirmed that a delegation from Ghana, including “representatives from the country’s security agencies aided by an official from the Ministry of Justice” are on their way to Dubai “to engage with Emirati security forces on the possible extradition of Nana Appiah Mensah.”

He clarified however that it was a “security operation” and not a state delegation, adding that he was yet to receive any updates. The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) has also frozen some accounts of NAM1.

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