Industrial relations and dispute resolution expert, Saeed Musah-Khaleepha has welcomed a proposal from some aggrieved customers of Menzgold company, to use Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) to retrieve their locked up funds with the gold dealership company.
Describing the groups move as a positive development from a class action point of view, Mr. Musah-Khaleepha believes that, it offers the customers a much more straight forward opportunity to be able engage the company and stakeholders on their grievances.
Following last week’s demonstration by the aggrieved customers of Menzgold , a section of the customers indicated that they were opting to adopt ADR to resolve their issues with the company to enable them retrieve their monies. They also urged the government to adopt ADR in getting the company to release their funds.
Speaking to ADR Daily in an interview, Musah-Khaleepha, Executive Director of the Gamey & Co ADR Centre, however, explained because the case is of a criminal and civil nature, it would be difficult for state prosecutors to let go off the criminal aspect and deal only with the civil aspect.
“And the criminal element is the allegation that Nana Appiah Mensah, CEO of Menzgold has attempted to defraud the people by false pretense. With respect to that one, it’s the state prosecutorial body that can handle it. And that’s necessary as our law stands now; it has to go through the criminal and justice system,” he said.
According to him, the civil aspect of the case with respect to the retrieval of the funds can go through ADR, which could be done through mediation and arbitration.
“It could be either through direct negotiations, but as it stands now it’s not advisable that parties are allowed on their own to engage in direct negotiation.
The parties can consider either mediation or arbitration, and in each of it they can do either institutional mediation or use a private person of their own choice to do the mediation or arbitration on their behalf,” he stressed.
He then advised aggrieved customers to write to officials of Brew Marketing (Menzgold) about their intention to use ADR as means to retrieve their locked up capital, and also look out for what their contract with Menzgold says on dispute resolution.
“It’s important for the parties to look at the primary agreement that exist between them. At the time that they (customers) were handing their monies, gold coins or bars to Brew Marketing (Menzgold), what was the nature of the contract or agreement they signed, what is the provision in that agreement regarding dispute resolution, do they have any provision anywhere, a sentence, and a line, a paragraph in there that says in the event of dispute, parties can resolve through direct engagement, mediation or arbitration?,” he quizzed
After his long absence from Ghana as he battled a court case in the United Arab Emirates where, Nana Appiah Mensah returned to Ghana on July 11, 2019, upon which he was arrested and arraigned before court on fraud charges. He was remanded in police custody to reappear on July 26, 2019 .He is said to have defrauded about 16,000 customers of his company in the sum of GHc 1.68 billion
By Benjamin Nana Appiah/adrdaily.com