A lawyer who represents some customers of now-defunct Menzgold Ghana Limited, Amanda Clinton, has threatened a class-action suit against the government over claims of negligence.
Ms. Clinton is demanding GHS11,402,000 plus interest and general damages from the state for a cross-section of her current clients.
In a letter to the Attorney General, she gave the state one month from October 22 to meet her demands or be slapped with the suit.
Menzgold customers have complained of being in dire straits since September 2018 when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) directed the firm to suspend its mineral trading operations.
But Ms. Clinton argued that the state was aware of the questionable nature of Menzgold’s operation as far back as 2011.
“It is unfortunate that the reason in which SEC ultimately shut down the operations of Menzgold Ghana Limited on the 7th day of September 2018 existed at the very first instance when the company began its operations and thus SEC was reckless in not shutting down Menzgold Ghana Limited much earlier when they began operating.”
In her view, the non-action from the state led to many more investors being able to invest in the companies over time much larger amounts in the company.
Ms. Clinton also lay some blame at the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police service.
She also noted that the CID between 2011 and 2012 received evidence that Menzgold CEO, Nana Appiah Mensah, “had set up SF Gold Ghana Limited to defraud upwards of 53 people within the Weija enclave through a company known as SF Gold Ghana Limited.”
“Although C.I.D charged Nana Appiah Mensah, a director of both Menzgold Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Limited for defrauding by false pretences and prosecuting him for conspiracy to defraud the complainants in before 2012; CID did not follow the case to its natural end when Nana Appiah Mensah did not fulfil his bail terms and absconded. 13.”
“Had Mr. Mensah been properly pursued by CID in 2011-2012, he may well have been put in jail instead of conceptualizing and actualizing the entities known as Menzgold and Brew to the absolute financial detriment of countless Ghanaians which is against public interest.”
The SEC and Bank of Ghana notably issued various notices and disclaimers to the public about the operations of Menzgold Ghana Limited but again, Ms. Clinton said these warnings came too late.
“Given the failure of the State to take appropriate steps and apply sanctions, this was negligent on the part of the State which caused pecuniary losses my clients have suffered,” she stressed.
Menzgold customers have been clamouring for the retrieval of their fund for the last few two years.
The lack of progress has had “a severe impact on them economically which has, in turn, affected them psychologically, mentally,” according to Ms. Clinton.
She however assured of her willingness to enter negotiations with the Attorney General.