NAM 1 is coughing, he can’t come to court – Lawyer explains absence
Menzgold CEO, Nana Appiah Mensah, failed to show up at an Accra Circuit Court, where he is standing trial together with two others for various offences.
This was because the embattled CEO, also known as NAM 1, has been coughing profusely and has been advised to seek medical care.
When the case was called on Tuesday, July 6, his lawyer Audrey Twum informed the circuit court judge Evelyn Asamoah that her client is not well.
She then asked for an adjournment to afford enough time for the accused to get the needed care. The case has been adjourned to September 2, 2021.
State prosecution did not object to the request for an adjournment.
NAM1 has been charged alongside his wife, Rose Tetteh and his sister Benedicta Appiah for aiding him in his alleged fraudulent act.
The two women are still at large as their whereabouts remain a mystery to the police.
The 61 charges originally brought against the embattled Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Menzgold have been withdrawn.
The prosecution is expected to file new charges against NAM 1 to enable the court to take his plea.
Why NAM 1 is in court
The facts of the case were that in October 2018, the police received a complaint from about 16,000 people that Menzgold had convinced them to invest GH¢1.68 billion in a gold purchase scheme that yielded 10% monthly interest.
According to the prosecution, the complainants said their money was locked up and that they could not find Nana Appiah Mensah and the other principal officers of the company.
The prosecutor said investigations revealed that Menzgold and Brew Marketing Consult were incorporated as limited liability companies in 2013 and 2016, respectively.
Menzgold, he said, obtained a license from the Minerals Commission in August 2016 to purchase and export gold from small-scale miners.
Nana Mensah founded Brew Marketing Consult to be a gold buying agent to engage in the business successfully.
ASP Asare said although Menzgold was licensed to purchase gold, it was not licensed by the Minerals Commission to trade in gold.
Notwithstanding the lack of such a licence, he said, Menzgold went public after its incorporation and invited the public to deposit money for a fixed period with interest on the pretext of gold purchasing.
The prosecutor said further investigations revealed that the three accused persons were the directors and principal officers of Menzgold and Brew Marketing Consult.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) later directed Menzgold to suspend its gold trading operations with the public.
The Commission revealed that the aspect of Menzgold’s business, which involves the purchase/deposit of gold collectables from the public and contracts issued with guaranteed returns with clients, was a capital market activity (issuance of gold-backed depository notes to the public) under Act 929 without a valid licence issued by SEC contrary to Section 109 of Act 929 with consequences under section 206 (1) of the same act.”
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) also saw the operations of Menzgold as a form of deposit-taking.
Without a licence from the central bank, the Menzgold business was declared to have violated the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016.
The two regulatory bodies decided to shut down the operations of Menzgold.
But NAM 1 fought back, insisting that his business was legal and did not need approval from the SEC and BoG.
Menzgold decided to sue BoG and SEC for shutting down its business, describing the action as “premature, hasty, arbitrary and clearly intended to affect its accrued rights and customers in a prejudicial manner.”
The company was seeking a declaration that the order by the SEC constitutes “an abuse of its discretionary powers and is arbitrary, capricious and contrary to Articles 23 and 296 of the 1992 Constitution.”
However, the Accra High Court dismissed the suit.
Nana Appiah Mensah was arrested over the charges after returning to Ghana from a business trip to Dubai.
After meeting his revised bail conditions, he was later released from police custody on August 17, 2019.
Earlier, the court had varied the bail conditions to allow five sureties to guarantee his bail without showing evidence of having properties worth the GH¢1 billion bail sum.
The court, however, refused a request by counsel for Nana Appiah for a reduction in the bail sum from GH¢1 billion to GH¢20 million.
On July 26, 2019, the court ordered three of the five sureties to show justification, meaning they must show proof that they had properties or interests worth the GH¢1 billion bail sum.
As part of the bail conditions, he is also to report to the Ghana Police Service every Wednesday.