Accra High Court, Accra, 19th September 2023 – In a surprising turn of events, Kwame Akuffo, the legal counsel representing NAM1, has asserted that officials from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) advised his client to alter the name of Menzbank (the initial name of Menzgold) to Menzbanc. This revelation comes in response to allegations made by the prosecution that NAM1 changed the company’s name to Menzgold in an attempt to evade the regulations outlined in the Banking and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), thus facilitating an unlawful enterprise.
Akuffo vehemently refuted the prosecution’s claims, stating, “When the prosecution says there was a name change to circumvent Act 930, that is a false assertion. This is because it was BoG officials who recommended that the accused company change its name from Menzbank to Menzbanc.”
Furthermore, Akuffo alleged that it was BoG that guided NAM1 and Menzgold in establishing Brew Marketing Consult (the third accused entity) to segregate the gold marketing segment of the business from Menzgold’s operations. He elaborated, “Indeed, during meetings with the Bank of Ghana, it was BoG that suggested the establishment of the third accused company to ensure a clear distinction between the gold marketing business and that of Menzgold.”
While Akuffo refrained from disclosing the names of the BoG officials who provided this advice to his client, he indicated that they would be summoned to testify during the trial to support NAM1’s defense. “I stake my 25-year legal career on the line and assert that we will substantiate all these claims during the trial,” he asserted.
These revelations surfaced during a bail application for NAM1 and as a response to the case facts presented by Deputy Attorney General Alfred Tuah-Yeboah. Akuffo questioned why his client was not charged with any offenses related to the violation of the Securities Industry Act, 2016 (Act 929), even though it was the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that closed down Menzgold’s operations due to a lack of a valid SEC license. He remarked, “It was the SEC that shut down the accused person’s business on the grounds of operating without an SEC license, yet among the 39 counts before the court, none pertain to a breach of Act 929. That is noteworthy.”
In the interim, NAM1 has pleaded not guilty to 39 charges, which encompass breaches of Act 930, fraudulent activities, breach of trust, and money laundering. Following a bail application by Mr. Akuffo, which faced no opposition in the courtroom presided over by Dr. Ernest Owusu-Dapaa, a Justice of the Court of Appeal serving as an additional High Court judge, NAM1 has been granted bail in the amount of Ghc500 million, with four sureties.
As part of the bail conditions, Justice Owusu-Dapaa has mandated NAM1 to surrender his passport to the Court’s Registrar and report to the headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) every Thursday.
The proceedings will resume on October 27, 2023.”
Story by enmoregh.com