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Business News of Sunday, 16 June 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

'We bussed people to demonstrate against Gold Coast' - Leader of group hints

There is confusion among the Coalition of Aggrieved Gold Coast Fund Management Customers after it was revealed that some of the leaders spearheading agitations for their investments to be refunded to them have been collecting monies from them, in the name of using it to organise the agitations and allegedly misappropriating it.

In addition to that, it has also emerged that as a ploy to send signals that they have many customers in support of their agitations, they have been organising and busing people who are not necessarily customers of Gold Coast to demonstrate against the financial institution under the guise of being members of the Coalition of Aggrieved Gold Coast Fund Management Customers.

The disagreement between customers and the allegations of misappropriating group financial contributions towards the organisation of agitations were exposed through WhatsApp conversations of the group, monitored by Graphic Online.

As part of a plan to organise and mount pressure for their investments to be refunded, members of the Coalition of Aggrieved Gold Coast Fund Management Customers formed a WhatsApp group and since they are sparsely located, they nominated some people to lead the conversations and the agitations but it later turned out that, some of the leaders were collecting monies from them and allegedly misappropriating it.

For instance, through the WhatsApp conversations monitored by Graphic Online, the members are accusing one Charles Nyame of misappropriating their organisational cash.

In a voice message sent to the group by Mr. Nyame, (published below) he is heard fighting back the allegations the group members have leveled against him.

In one instance, Mr. Charles Nyame is heard making the claim that the money he collects from members were used to bus people from various places to shore up the numbers to demonstrate against Gold Coast Fund Management since turnout to such events by the customers has always not met their expectations.

‘’You will bear me witness to the numbers that attended the demonstration. I have heard chairman saying we claim to have given money to some people to help in the demonstration, I want you to come out and talk, did you not see people come out from buses during the demonstration,’’ he said.

Mr Nyame makes further allegations that the other leaders elected by the group members have shown little or no commitment to the cause of the group, and therefore have no right to question the operational expenses he makes on the group since they have left the work to him and one Mr Joseph from the Eastern region.

‘Mr Owusu lives at Abuakwa and works at Sofoline, Mama Lizzy and Mizpah live at Tech [KNUST area] so why will the people living in Kumasi not rather hold the fort and help in the organisation but everything has been left to myself living at Agona Jamasi [on the Kumsai-Mampong road] and Joe from Eastern region whose fuel cost is Gh¢300 in and out while my fuel cost is Gh¢100 daily from the rounds I do in town trying to organise our front’’, the seemingly livid Mr Nyame stated.

Reports have been rife that tensions among the Aggrieved Gold Coast Fund Management Customers were boiling due to allegations of extortion and misappropriation of funds by their leaders and this latest voice message exchanges seem to have confirmed the allegation.

Checks by Graphic Online on the veracity of Mr. Charles Nyame’s investment revealed that he redeemed his investment from Gold Coast Fund Management on June 6, 2016 [See Official Receipt shared on the WhatsApp group below], and has no investment with the company.



When the members of the group questioned him on having redeemed his investment at Gold Coast long ago, Mr. Nyame explained that his wife and mother have investments with Gold Coast Fund Management and that he was representing them.

Checks have shown that he has no power of attorney at Gold Coast Fund Management mandating him to act on behalf of his wife.

In matters of finance, one cannot lay claim on anyone’s investment without a power of attorney, some of the members insisted.

On the group WhatsApp platform, Mr. Nyame’s initial investment receipt that was given by Gold Coast Fund Management was shared as though he still has an investment with the firm although he has already withdrawn it.

Nyame reacts

When Graphic Online reached Mr Nyame, via telephone Sunday morning, he confirmed it was true that he has withdrawn his investment but insisted his mother and wife still have investments there and since he was one way or the other affected by their predicament, he can act on their behalf.

He said he personally made the investments in their name and therefore has a responsibility to act on their behalf.

Fighting off the allegations that they have been bussing non-customers to demonstrate, he explained, since it was not everybody who can attend the demonstrations because they were sparsely located, they sometimes nominate people who are one way or the other affected by their predicament to act on their behalf.

He said their petition to President Akufo-Addo on the matter of recouping their investments from Gold Coast has since been referred to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) and they were waiting to hear from the BoG.

He alleged that when they (leaders) of the group recently met the management of Gold Coast, they [Gold Coast] proposed that each customer signs a document giving the power of attorney to the leaders of the group to act, take decisions and meet with the management on behalf of all customers but they rejected it.

He denied the allegations of misappropriation of group funds and said, "it is never true."

He suggested it was probably due to his stance on matters that was why some of the members wanted to kick him out but declined to give further details when Graphic Online probed, insisting that the issue of differences among the members have since been resolved and there was no need going back to it.

Gold Coast has been under pressure from organised groups demanding for their locked up capital for some months now.

There has been some demonstrations by some customers against Gold Coast asking that their locked up investments should be given to them.

They recently organised a demonstration in Kumasi and later presented a petition to President Akufo-Addo.

Following that, the petition has been forwarded to the BoG.

But the Gold Coast has always maintained that they keep disbursing funds to their clients anytime government paid contractors who were pre-financed by Gold Coast.

According to Gold Coast, they have made disbursements close to Gh¢70million in less than eight months.