Because you have warned the public doesn’t absolve you from culpability- Justice Srem Sai to BoG and SEC

Share this

Many have argued that BoG and SEC, having repeatedly warned the public against sending their monies to Menzgold, cannot be held responsible for the failed investments. Put differently, this argument says that Menzgold investors, having ignored the repeated warning by these regulatory agencies, are estopped from turning around to hold the agencies responsible for their misfortune – they have themselves to blame.

At the core of this argument lay the equitable doctrine of estoppel. This doctrine says that if you behave in one way (particularly against express knowledge of the consequences of such behavior), you will not be allowed to turn around and hold another person liable for the predicaments arising from your intransigence.  I’ve heard many lawyers make this argument. The minister of information, too, made this argument, ostensibly on behalf of the government.

Meanwhile, I’ve explained elsewhere that BoG and SEC owe you, the public, a duty to protect you from financial schemes like Menzgold’s. I’ve also explained that the two regulatory agencies breached this duty. But even most importantly, I’ve said that this duty, like all public regulation duties, is grounded in public law (jurisprudentially, social contract) and not in private law of simple contract as some officials will want us to believe.

What my friends who make this estoppel argument don’t seem to know or, if they know, don’t tell you is that there’s a huge fat line between law and equity. And, that equity follows the law. And, that equity came to fulfill the law (not to topple it). And, ultimately, that the equitable doctrine of estoppel does not apply in public law; for which reason, in Tuffour v AG, CJ Apaloo’s conduct (of voluntarily subjecting himself to an unconstitutional parliamentary vetting) did not estop him or anyone else from questioning the constitutionality of his vetting.

BOTTOMLINE: the argument – that BoG and SEC are not responsible for the Menzgold problem simply because they’ve warned the public repeatedly – doesn’t hold much water.


Share this

Kennedy Mornah is an Award Winning Ghanaian Journalist with over two decades of experience in the Ghanaian Media landscape spanning the electronic, print and digital media. He is a Media Consultant, a Corporate MC, Radio and TV Host, Founder and Publisher of the Maritime and Transport Digest Newspaper, Businessman, a Go getter and an optimist. He has worked for renowned media organizations including Diamond Fm in Tamale, Luv Fm in Kumasi, Oman Fm in Accra and Starr Fm in Accra In 2017 he received the Reporter of the Year Award at the Ghana Shippers Awards in Accra, Ghana.

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.