A Deputy Communications Minister in the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama’s administration, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, has described as needless a delegation the government sent to the United Arab Emirates to follow up on embattled Menzgold Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Nana Appiah Mensah, who is standing trial for misdemeanour charges in the Asian country.
A high-powered government delegation, which comprised a Deputy Attorney General, Joseph Dindiok Kpemka, a representative from the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) and National Security went to Dubai to press for the extradition of Mr Mensah, popularly known as NAM1.
But the delegation returned without the fugitive, relating that the Emirati authorities said they will only release him after his trial, which is set to begin Saturday, February 2.
Speaking on TV3’s New Day Monday, January 21, Mr Kwakye Ofosu said he is not surprised at the turn of events because there was no need for that delegation.
“I’m not surprised the government delegation returned empty-handed. To begin with, I don’t even understand why they put that delegation together. It was not necessary. They did not need to go to Dubai to find out whether or not he will be released to Ghanaian officials,” he said.
According to the former government appointee, the government has not lived up to expectation in this whole Menzgold matter and the prosecution of the CEO.
He observed that it is not only the diplomatic engagement with the UAE to bring NAM1 to Ghana which has failed but “the whole government handling of this matter has been less than impressive”.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) communicator argued it is unjustifiable for the state securities to have allowed NAM1 abscond the country.
“There is no justification for why the state allowed Mr. Appiah Mensah to flee the jurisdiction only to come back with a post-facto defense and scramble around to present the appearance of a government that is resolving the matter.”
He insisted that once the activities of Menzgold became suspicious to the state, it ought to have known that with the kind of resources and connections available to the CEO, he could easily flee, for which reason EOCO ought to have put in place measures to ground him in Ghana.
Mr. Kwakye Ofosu alleged some Ghanaians as well as himself, suspect the government is complicit in the matter because “it simply does not add up”, insisting the actions of government “smack of incompetence”.
He doubts if NAM1 will ever come back to Ghana given what he described as the bizarre circumstances under which he left Ghana.
He thus cautioned that customers of Menzgold cannot trust the government to bring justice to them.
But a member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) communications team, Eric Twum Amoako, strongly disagreed, stating Felix’s comments failed a logical test.
According to him, the government is showing commitment in bringing NAM1 to book unlike the NDC who sat down and watched him grow his business.