Deputy Minister of Information, Pius Hadzide, has stated that government cannot be held liable for the current predicaments of Menzgold customers.
Hadzide was responding to comments made by the Communication Officer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Sammy Gyamfi, who accused the government of complicity in the matter.
At a press conference on Wednesday January 16, 2019, Sammy Gyamfi leveled some unfounded allegations against the government.
He said that government cannot deny its role in the current circumstances surrounding Menzgold's inability to pay its numerous customers their investments.
“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 alleged.
In a report that YEN.com.gh sighted on Citifmonline.com, Pius Hadzide, speaking in an interview with Citi FM, vehemently denied the allegation.
Hadzide said the arguments made by the NDC’s Communication Officer were both legally and morally baseless.
He further added that no government can be blamed for the decision of any Ghanaian to invest in 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 one, to be held liable for the individual actions and inaction of persons who have engaged themselves in a contract", he noted.
"He has not established any case that is grounded in law that government can be held liable in this Menzgold matter", he added.
Sammy Gyamfi had said at the press conference that the CEO of Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah, popularly known as NAM1, enjoyed “full state honours” during the current government’s tenure.
He added that this boosted the image of both NAM1 and Menzgold and encouraged more people to invest in the firm.
The NDC are therefore calling on the government to ensure that, as was done in the case of DKM and other collapsed banks, the customers who have lost their investments are paid back.
“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", the statement alleged.
However, Hadzide stated that while Bank of Ghana and other state regulators had failed to properly supervise the operations of DKM which was a fully-licensed company, Menzgold’s operations did not fall under any of the regulatory agencies thus cannot be handled the same way.
“The two scenarios are entirely different. In the case of DKM, the company was fully registered and fell under the purview of a certain state regulatory body", he noted.
"It was the state’s responsibility to have kept an eye on the operations, having issued a license for the company to conduct business in that area", he explained.
“In the case under consideration, 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", he added.
In October 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered gold dealership company Menzgold to halt operations to enable the outfit investigate licensing issues.
The halt led to a total shutdown of operations that later resulted in agitations from some aggrieved customers.
After two demonstrations held in Accra and Kumasi, an arrest warrant has been issued for the embattled CEO of Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah.
The embattled CEO was said to be under arrest in the United Arab Emirates but will be extradited to Ghana on Thursday January 17, 2019.
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