Nana Appiah Mensah, widely known as NAM 1 and the founder of Menzgold, has steadfastly denied allegations that he used his company to defraud more than 16,000 individuals of GH¢1.6 billion. Standing trial in the High Court, NAM 1’s legal counsel, Kwame Akuffo, emphasized that his client did not engage in activities that circumvented Ghana’s financial laws, specifically the Banking and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act of 2016.
During the court proceedings on September 19, Mr. Akuffo vehemently refuted the prosecution’s claims, asserting that it was officials from the Bank of Ghana (BoG) who advised NAM 1 to change the company’s name from Menzbank to Menzbanc.
“In meetings with the BoG, it was the BoG that recommended that the third accused company, Brew Marketing Consult, be set up to ensure that the gold marketing business remained distinct from Menzgold’s core operations,” counsel Akuffo stated, as reported by Graphic Online’s Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson, who was present in the courtroom.
Mr. Akuffo chose not to disclose the names of the BoG officials who provided this advice to his client, citing the possibility of their testimony being held in camera during the trial. However, he emphasized that, when appropriate, he would summon them as witnesses to support his client’s defense.
In the ongoing legal proceedings, NAM 1 has entered a plea of not guilty to a total of 39 charges. These charges encompass violations of Act 930, defrauding by false pretense, fraudulent breach of trust, and money laundering.
In response to his plea, the court, presided over by Dr. Ernest Owusu-Dapaa, a Justice of the Court of Appeal acting as an additional High Court judge, granted NAM 1 bail in the amount of GH¢500 million. Four sureties were required as part of the bail conditions. Additionally, Justice Owusu-Dapaa ordered NAM 1 to surrender his passport to the Court’s Registrar and instructed him to report to the headquarters of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) every Thursday.
As the legal proceedings continue, the case remains of significant interest to both the public and the legal community, with many eagerly following the developments as they unfold.