The two main political parties in the country have plunged the Menzgold scandal into a political blame game, each accusing the other of causing the debacle.
Menzgold, a gold dealership started by Nana Appiah Mensah, has folded up after taking millions in Ghana cedis from thousands of investors who bought into its Gold Vault Market service.
The service has turned out to be a Ponzi scheme and the CEO is wanted in Ghana for fraud and money laundering.
Police say, Nana Appiah Mensah, known popularly as NAM1, has been arrested in Dubai following a gold transaction that went wrong.
Photo: Nana Appiah Mensah has been charged with fraud and money laundering
A high-powered delegation has been sent to Dubai by the government to push for his extradition to face the charges against him.
However, the criminal matter took on a dramatic political turn on Wednesday when the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) held press conferences aimed, solely, at giving reasons why the other party must be blamed for the scandal.
The opposition NDC held the first presser, stating that an endorsement by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, misled the thousands of Ghanaians to invest in the Ponzi scheme.
NDC Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, at the press briefing said Ghanaians who would have otherwise not invested in the company felt the business was genuine because they saw photographs of the President and the firm’s CEO, Nana Appiah Mensah, circulating on social media and other news media platforms.
“Undoubtedly, the open endorsement of NAM1 and Menzgold by this government greatly enhanced the credibility and legitimacy of Menzgold in the eyes of the general public and encouraged many people to invest with the company even after the Bank of Ghana had cautioned against it,” he said.
The NDC also alleged that the NAM 1 sponsored Nana Akufo-Addo’s 2016 campaign.
Shortly after that, the NPP held a counter press conference stating that Ponzi schemes like Menzgold have flourished under the NDC.
The NPP cited Pyram, DKM, Bamask, God is Love and US Tilapia as some of the fraudulent business operations that flourished under NDC administrations.
The NDC had also alleged during the press conference that First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, took an active part in endorsing the legitimacy of Menzgold which enhanced its credibility thus encouraging numerous Ghanaians to invest with the firm.
However, NPP Communications Director, Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, denied the claim.
He said the Rebecca Foundation did not solicit funds from one of Nana Appiah Mensah’s subsidiaries, the NAM Mission Project, for her health charity.
Mr Asamoah urged the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) and other security agencies to probe and deal with the Menzgold matter to its logical conclusion.
On PM Express, a current affairs show on the Joy News channel on Multi TV, the political blame game continued. Sammy Gyamfi locked horns with NPP’s Deputy Communications Director, Kamal-Deen Abdulai over the same matter.
The heated show was moderated by Evans Mensah.
Watch the full episode below.
Joe Bright Nyarko
Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.