NAM 1 lawyers absent, customers disappointed
Lawyers for the founder of defunct Menzgold, Nana Appiah Mensah, popularly known as NAM One, were absent when the criminal case was called in Accra yesterday.
NAM One has been accused of using his company to defraud more than 16,000 people of more than GH¢1.6 billion.
Making his second appearance today, NAM One told the Accra High Court, presided over by Dr Ernest Owusu-Dapaa, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge, that he had been informed his lawyer had an emergency that morning.
He, therefore, prayed the court to grant a short adjournment.
Signing of statements
The prosecution, led by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DDP), Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, told the court that the witnesses were not answering calls to sign their statements.
She said the statements were not ready because even though some of the witnesses had given their statements to the state, they (witnesses) were not responding to calls to sign the documents.
As such, the DPP told the court that the state was unable to file the witness statements as planned.
She, therefore, pleaded with the court to give the prosecution two weeks to get the witnesses to sign the statements for filing.
The case has been adjourned to November 17, this year.
Customers of erstwhile Menzgold, who stormed the court ahead of the hearing, expressed disappointment over the failure of the lawyers to appear before the court.
The Public Relations Officer of Aggrieved Menzgold Customers, Fred Forson, however, urged his colleagues to give their statements to the police to expedite the collation of witness statements.
Not guilty plea
NAM One pleaded not guilty to 39 counts, ranging from violation of Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), defrauding by false pretence, fraudulent breach of trust and money laundering.
He has been admitted to bail in the sum of GH¢500 million, with four sureties.
As part of the bail conditions, Justice Owusu-Dapaa ordered NAM One to deposit his passport with the Registrar of the Courts, and also report to the headquarters of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service every Thursday.
It is the case of the prosecution that NAM One operated Menzgold Ghana Company Limited as a deposit-taking business under the guise of gold trading without the requisite licence, and through fraudulent activities, deceived many members of the public to part with huge sums, estimated around GH¢1.6 billion.
Investigations, the prosecution added, further disclosed that between 2017 and 2018, the accused person transferred huge sums of depositors’ funds from Menzgold Ghana Company Ltd. and Brew Marketing Consult Ltd. to Zylofon Media, a company related to NAM One.
“Huge sums of money were also withdrawn by NAM One or transferred into his bank account for his personal use,” it added.