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Opinions of Friday, 28 December 2018

Columnist: Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

Nana Appiah Mensah has an obligation to retract

Nana Appiah Mensah Nana Appiah Mensah

According to reports allegedly emanating from the Office of Ghana’s National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, the amount of GH? 1 Million that was widely reported by the media to have been donated to the “Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu Educational Fund” never really materialized, because even as yours truly composes this column, some six months later, the aforesaid donation has yet to be delivered to either the National Chief Imam or any of his assigns (See “Nana Appiah Mensah Never Gave Me GH? 1 Million – Chief Imam” / 12/22/18).

The Chief Executive Officer of Menzgold and Zylofon Group of Companies, Nana Appiah Mensah, reportedly announced the aforesaid donation and the establishment of the Sheikh Nuhu Sharubutu Educational Fund in the presence of Sheikh Abdul Kaadiru Taahim, Chief Imam of the Dagomba and President of the National Muslim Chiefs. Actually, we are told in the afore-referenced version of the story that forms the basis of this column that it was rather the National Chief Imam and the Chief of Dagomba Muslims who had paid a courtesy visit to Nana Appiah Mensah at the latter’s Menzgold offices during this year’s Ramadan Festival.

Now, I find something rather strange about the preceding report, because it is often the other way around; that is, the established tradition or protocol has been for heads of business establishments, as well as prominent politicians, to pay courtesy calls and either make direct donations or promise to significantly contribute to the welfare of needy Muslims and the downtrodden in Ghanaian society. And so one is tempted to call for an investigation into why, this time around, it was the National Chief Imam and his officials and associates who had reversed course by paying a courtesy call on the Menzgold CEO.

I am also making room for the possibility that the foregoing news story may have been either misreported or egregiously distorted. We must also quickly add that both the Menzgold and the Zylofon Group of Companies have recently come under both government and media scrutiny for allegedly scamming their customers or investors to the tune of millions of cedis. It all came to a head when Ghana’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) cited the Appiah Mensah Group for operating businesses in gold dealership without the issuance of the proper or legitimate licenses.

The Appiah Mensah Group was therefore asked by SEC to promptly cease and desist from its illegal activities. This edict has resulted in investor capital being locked up in the grind, with customers or investors engaged in massive demonstrations and agitations for the return of their investment moneys that had been promised high yields of the kind that no banks or financial institutions either promise or guarantee anywhere in the world. The Appiah Mensah Group has been fighting hard to get back into operation, with the objective of resolving its problems with investors.

But according to Dr. Mark Assibey Yeboah, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, it is highly unlikely that Menzgold’s customers and investors would get their moneys back, because the Appiah Mensah Group is highly unlikely to be allowed to return to trading in gold in the open market anytime soon. Dr. Assibey Yeboah also adds that as relatively far back as February 2017, both the operatives of Menzgold and investors had been given strong hints that the Appiah Mensah Group had been operating illegally and imminently risked a total shutdown of its operations.

Now what yours truly is most interested in and that which forms the subject of this column, is the fact of whether, indeed, as the Office of the National Chief Imam is alleged to be claiming, Nana Appiah Mensah never delivered the aforesaid GH? 1 Million, that was promised to be used for the establishment of the Cheikh Nuhu Osmanu Sharubutu Educational Fund, in support of bright but needy Muslim Youths in the country. Well, for a definitive answer to the foregoing question, of course, Nana Appiah Mensah, the Menzgold and Zylofon Group of Companies’ CEO, needs to come clean and promptly so, by either publicly confirming or denying the statement from the Office of the National Chief Imam, that the publicly promised GH? 1 Million seed money meant for the establishment of the Sheikh Nuhu Osman Sharubutu Educational Fund was never delivered, and therefore disappointed Menzgold investors and/or customers have absolutely no business drawing the National Chief Imam and associates into their fray.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD

English Department, SUNY-Nassau

Garden City, New York

E-mail: okoampaahoofe@optimum.nt