The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), on Tuesday, this week, issued a public statement to the effect that an Accra High Court has given it powers to confiscate all landed properties and vehicles belonging to the embattled gold trading company, Menzgold. The High Court order, according to the statement, also asked all employees of Menzgold and its sister companies to surrender company properties in their possession to EOCO.
According to the directive, relatives and friends of the owner, Nana Appiah Mensah, who are in possession of any property of the companies, are to handover same to EOCO.
“All employees of the affected company, relatives and friends who are in possession of any of such properties to surrender same by the authority of the High Court to the Economic and Organised Crime Head office and regional offices in their own interest,” EOCO said in the statement.
The court order also allows EOCO to take possession of landed properties and vehicles of Menzgold Ghana Limited, which include the Menzgold Office Complex, Zylogon Art Complex, Brew Marketing Consult, Star Madrid Football Club, Zylofon Music and Media Company Limited, and Brew Energy Company.
The rest are G-Tech Automobile Service, two properties located at Trassaco Valley; that is plot No. 315 and plot No.337, plot of land (No. 54) near Oak Street-Trassaco Valley, an uncompleted residence, and 510 acres of land.
Following this order of the court, Zylofon Media also issued a statement announcing to the public that operations of Zylofon FM and TV have been suspended in compliance with the order of the court. The conduct of Nana Appiah, owner of Menzgold and allied companies, is reprehensible. This is the reason why The Chronicle does not, and will not, support the call on the government to use state resources, or simply put, the tax payers’ money, to pay those who invested in his companies.
The Bank of Ghana issued several warnings, but because of the mouthwatering interest that they were receiving, they refused to heed the call from the Central Bank to cease giving out their money to the company. The rest of the story, they say, is history, but this notwithstanding, The Chronicle does not believe in the strategy adopted by EOCO to recoup the investments of the people who have obviously been scammed, even though they have the backing of the law.
Since Zylofon FM and TV are employing Ghanaians, EOCO, after obtaining the court order, should have immediately appointed an interim management team to take over the running of the two media outlets, as the Central Bank did when some universal banks were taken over by the government. Interest generated from the operations of the two stations can then be used to pay back some of the lost investments.
Getting employment in Ghana at the moment is not easy, therefore, to send the entire worker force home and close down the two stations is not the best of options available. EOCO should also not forget about the fact that it would get more yields from the sale of the two media houses when they are in operation than to close them down before the sale. Closing them down before looking for buyers would lead to the loss of listenership of the two stations, and the new buyer would have to struggle to get the listeners back.
This, among others, are the reasons why we think rushing to close down the two stations and subsequent loss of jobs will not serve the best interests of the country every Ghanaian is supporting to build. We hope EOCO will listen to us and change its stance on the issue in the interest of the workers.