The Accra High Court has slapped Menzgold Ghana Limited with GH¢8,000 cost for the late filing of its defence in a case in which 53 soldiers have sued it for failing to pay back their investment, totaling GH¢2.5 million.
Following Menzgold’s failure to file its defence within the stipulated time, the soldiers applied to the court for a default judgement and the court was expected to rule on their application yesterday.
It was, however, revealed in the court that lawyers for the embattled company had filed a defence just before the court’s sitting yesterday.
In view of that, counsel for the soldiers, Captain Nkrabea Effah-Dartey (retd), withdrew the application for default judgement but asked for costs of GH¢10,000 against the company.
The court, presided over by Mr Justice Jerome Noble Nkrumah, struck out the application as withdrawn and granted costs of GH¢8,000 in favour of the soldiers.
The latest development means that the suit will take its normal course, with the two parties arguing their respective pleadings.
Why the soldiers went to court
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The soldiers — from the Ghana Navy, the Ghana Air Force and the Ghana Army — are praying the High Court to order a refund of their money.
According to the plaintiffs, all efforts to retrieve the money had been unsuccessful.
They are, per the writ of summons issued on December 12, 2018, accordingly praying the court to order a refund of their money, ranging between GH¢18,000 and GH¢244,000.
The amounts quoted on the filed court documents represent the plaintiffs’ principals.
Plaintiffs are arguing that even if Menzgold claims that it cannot pay their interests, they are entitled to their principals.
Sweat and tears
Describing themselves as hardworking men and women of the Ghana Armed Forces, the plaintiffs contended that they had invested their “sweat and tears” in the defendant company.
They said it was their hard-earned money from what they termed “sleepless treks and peacekeeping missions” that they had invested in Menzgold.
A statement of claim accompanying the writ of summons stated, inter alia, that Menzgold, through advertisements and its agents, reached out to the Ghanaian public to subscribe to its gold vault investment services.
It said the plaintiffs took advantage of the advertisements and subscribed to the defendant’s services by investing various sums of money in 2018.
According to the statement, the agreement between the plaintiffs and the company entitled them to 10 per cent returns on their investment for those who invested GH¢24,000 and above and a minimum of seven per cent for those who invested below GH¢24,000.
It said the agreement was for 12 months, after which investors were permitted to terminate or reactivate their investments.
It said the company paid the interest, popularly known as extra value, but stopped some time in August 2018 and had since failed to either pay the interest or refund their principals.
The plaintiffs, according to the statement, on several occasions attempted to retrieve their money but they hit a snag.
“Plaintiffs have approached the defendant countless times but they are always met with excuses and postponement,” it said.