The prosecution in the trial in which the Chief Executive Officer of Menzgold Ghana Limited, Nana Appiah Mensah (NAM1) and two of his companies have been accused of defrauding customers to the tune of GH¢340,835,650 , will call its first witness on December 20, this year.
This comes after the court presided over by Justice Ernest Owusu-Dapaah, a Justice of the Court of Appeal sitting as an additional High Court judge concluded on timelines and pre-trial processes needed to start the trial.
In all, the prosecution led by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, would be relying on 11 witnesses to prove its case against NAM 1 and his company.
The presiding judge suggested to parties in the case that they could take advantage of the plea bargaining law to help settle the affected customers adding that at any time during the trial, the court could consider whatever arrangement the state and accused persons would decide on.
On July 22, 2022, the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo passed a bill to introduce plea bargaining into Ghana’s justice system for some cases.
Plea bargaining is a process in criminal justice where an accused person relinquishes the right to a full trial in exchange for some other benefit.
In consideration of a guilty plea, the accused person gets lesser charges, reduced number of offences, or receives a lesser sentence.
Meanwhile, Justice Owusu-Dapaah says he is hoping to give judgment in the case by March 2024.
NAM1 and two of his companies – Menzgold Ghana Limited and Brew Marketing Consult Ghana Limited, have been charged with 39 counts of selling gold without licence, operating deposit-taking business, inducement to invest, defrauding by false pretence, fraudulent breach of trust and money laundering.
The allegations levelled against them relate to defrauding their customers of various sums of money between 2016 and 2018, totalling GH¢340,835,650.
NAM1 had pleaded not guilty to all the charges and is on a bail of GH¢500 million with four sureties.
By Justice Agbenorsi | graphic.com.gh