Claims by Nana Appiah Mensah, aka NAM1, that he has paid about GH¢9.6 million to customers of defunct Menzgold Ghana Limited have sparked outrage.
Supposed angry customers are questioning the authenticity of NAM1’s claims, saying he is toying with their emotions and have, therefore, called for action against the beleaguered businessman.
Over the weekend, NAM1 wrote an open letter trying to explain his recent moves, which included the lavish introduction of some artistes through his Zylofon Music record label.
According to the management of the label, the artiste by name Tisha is an Afro-pop musician and her unique style sets her apart when comparing her with her peers.
NAM1 and his management, during the lavish ceremony, announced that in two weeks they would introduce another artiste who they said was a big name.
His recent actions enraged supposed clients of the defunct Menzgold, but NAM1 in the open letter said there was a difference between Menzgold and Zylofon, which had signed the artistes on to its label.
“As of now, we hold documentary evidence, clearly showing that we have paid over 96 billion old cedis (GH¢9.6 million) even in our state of dormancy and continue to humbly make payments every now and then,” he said, adding “we are capable, committed and shall continue to appreciate the paid-up figure to a conservatively minimum amount of 600 billion old cedis (GH¢60 million) before the end of the calendar month of December 2020, as we commence productivity.”
Playing with emotions
A group calling itself ‘Coalition of Aggrieved Customers of Menzgold’ has insisted that NAM1 is not capable of making payments, saying what he put out is “not only false but also criminal.”
“Our attention has been drawn to the weekend’s signing ceremony of a new artiste, Tisha, by Nana Appiah Mensah, CEO of the defunct Menzgold Company Limited.
“At the said ceremony, Mr. Offei, the Corporate Affairs Manager of Menzgold, Stonebwoy and other artistes in the company of some land guards and national security operatives, as well as uniformed police, were spotted providing security for him,” they claimed.
The aggrieved customers said further that “this signing ceremony, which was organized with grandeur, pomp and pageantry and in the full glare of our state authorities, occurred while victims of Menzgold continue to record deaths among themselves with the current figure, not less than 55.”
“It is not surprising that NAM1, the father of Menzgold, Brew Marketing Consult, Payboy, Ivex Minerals, Metallica Refinery and 5G Gold, has got enough money to spare and sign on artistes and go on a free-for-all spending, while victims of Menzgold customers continue to die, suffer a stroke and heart attacks as well as have their lives shattered just as a result of investing in Menzgold.
“We are very much appalled by the bravado and the open disregard for the laws of the land seeing as NAM1, a man who has been slapped with 61 criminal charges including money laundering, is still signing financial contracts and being escorted by macho men,” they said, adding “if indeed our laws are working, which we believe they are, then we call on the President to order the Office of National Security to cause the arrest of NAM1 immediately without delay,” the aggrieved customers stressed.
In late May, officials of the firm called Payboy Company Limited, which was appointed by the defunct Menzgold Ghana Limited to negotiate debt settlements with its numerous clients, were arrested by the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO).
EOCO had confirmed the arrests in a statement signed by the head of its public affairs, Jacqueline Avotri, but did not name the officials who were picked up.
In mid-May, Menzgold said it had appointed Payboy to negotiate debt settlements with its numerous clients and said that the digital marketing firm was to act as a third-party entity.
According to the statement, Payboy was to negotiate and facilitate the payment of the investment of Menzgold’s customers whose investments remain unpaid.
However, the arrest of some of its officials by EOCO forced Payboy to say it has terminated its agreement with defunct Menzgold Ghana Limited.
The company, in a statement, said the decision was arrived at an emergency meeting held last Friday, May 29, following the arrest of some of its officials, indicating that “it was resolved that Payboy should opt-out of the Payment Facilitation Agreement.”
The agreement was signed on February 7, 2020, according to the release issued by the management of Payboy Company Limited.
Last year, KWAME AKUFFO and Co., lawyers for Menzgold, made it clear that they did not have the capacity to carry out payments to the company’s creditors, as stated in a press release issued by the company.
A letter from the lawyers, reacting to the company’s earlier release, had stated, “Our attention has been drawn to the press release dated December 18, 2019, by Menzgold Ghana Limited (the client) in respect of the above-mentioned.”
“Paragraph four of the press release is to the effect that Kwame Akuffo and Co. Unlimited (the firm) on behalf of the client has been instructed to make payments to the creditors. We have informed the client that the firm does not have the capacity to carry out the said exercise. The firm is, therefore, unable to accept instructions in that regard. Under the circumstances, we have advised the client to instruct a third party entity to carry out the instructions in respect of the above-mentioned.”
NAM1, together with his wife, Rose Tetteh, and his sister, Benedicta Appiah (both of whom are at large) are altogether facing a total of 13 counts of defrauding by false pretences, money laundering, abetment and carrying on deposit-taking business without licence.
These include six counts of defrauding by false pretences, abetment, money laundering and carrying on deposit-taking business without licence.
His companies – Menzgold Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Limited – have also been charged with seven counts of defrauding by false pretences and carrying on deposit-taking business without licence.
NAM1, on July 26, pleaded not guilty to all the charges. The court, presided over by Jane Harriet Akweley Quaye, granted him bail to the tune of a billion cedi (about $185 million) with five sureties, three of which were to be justified.
Additionally, he was ordered by the court to report to the police every Wednesday.
Unable to satisfy the bail conditions, the defence team led by Kwame Boafo Akuffo later filed an application asking for variation of the terms.
However, the presiding judge, after listening to both sides, though maintained the sum of one billion cedis, removed the condition of three of the five sureties to be justified.