Lawyer Philip Addison, the lead counsel for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2012 election petition case, has been caught up in a nasty criminal case, involving a client by name, Francis Tachie Menson, who is currently before the Police Criminal Investigation Department (CID) over issues related to forgery of documents.
Francis Tachie Menson, described as having an interesting records in the US, is been investigated by the Documentation and Visa Fraud Unit of the CID, for altering documents belonging to a company called, Merlin Gaming Ghana Limited, operators of an SMS lottery.
The Herald’s insider information is that, there is an attempt to have access to US$2 million cash, belonging to the company, which is currently with Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited, through the use of the forged documents, and this is being investigated by the CID’s Documentation and Visa Fraud Unit.
Strangely, Lawyer Philip Addison, is reported to have written to Stanbic Bank, posing as the Secretary of Merlin Gaming Ghana Limited, ostensibly to have access to the US$2 million in the vaults of the bank for Francis Tachie Menson, the man at the center of the forgery claims.
Interestingly, attempts to fight back the forgery and other related matters surrounding Merlin Gaming Ghana Limited, according to The Herald’s information, has resulted in Lawyer Charles William Zwennes, being cited for contempt of court by Lawyer Philip Addison.
The contempt case against Lawyer Zwennes, is expected to be called this morning before an Accra High Court led by one Justice Gifty Adjei Addo, said to be a younger sister of Samuel Atta Akyea, the Minister for Works and Housing, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) of Akim Abuakwa South Constituency in the Eastern region.
Merlin Gaming Ghana Limited, formerly Amaya Ghana Limited registered in June 2011, had had its shareholding structure changed overnight at the Registrar General’s Department, without the knowledge and consent of its owner Messrs. Eric Gbeho and Peter Nkegbe, both of whom own 50 percent stake in the private lottery company.
The owners of the company, had no idea how Francis Tachie Menson, who is known to them, became a co-owner of Merlin Gaming Ghana Limited and holding the largest stake in the company; 8000, while theirs ( Eric and Peter) were whittled down to 1000 each.
Shortly, after the change of ownership, Lawyer Philip Addison, became a secretary of the company on the instruction of Francis Tachie Menson, who is described as having an interesting history in the US.
Lawyer Zwennes, took the matter to court, but Lawyer Addison, got one Justice George Koomson to get Mr Zwennes out of the case on the basis of conflict of interest, because he had acted as lawyer for some of the parties in the case at one point in time.
Mr Gbeho, dissatisfied with Justice Coomson’s decision, got Mr Zwennes to go to the Court of Appeal, however, Lawyer Addison, quickly dashed to the High Court with a contempt charges against his colleague, Mr Zwennes, and this will be heard today.
With Mr Zwennes out of the way, Stanbic Bank, is expected to release the US$2 million to Francis Tachie Menson, although the Police is still investigating the matter.
The Herald is also informed about some judgment debts that the National Lottery Authority (NLA) is working on settling with Merlin Ghana Limited.
Lawyer Zwennes, is said to have fought the case against the NLA and its former boss, Brigadier General Martin Ahiaglo, in court and won.
Meanwhile, The Herald contacts at the Registrar General’s Department, has revealed to the paper that, one Tamakloe, a former staff of the department, aided Francis Techie Menson in the alleged forgery of the documents belonging to Merlin Gaming Ghana Limited, leading to the change of ownership and shareholding structure of the company.
This was done in 2018 during the re-registration of companies at the Registrar General’s Department, and he had it put into the computerized system of the department.
Mr Tamakloe, is said to be in Canada presently. He is believed to have left Ghana, shortly after his conduct.
The alleged forged document cited and perused by The Herald, showed a different font size and different ink.
While the names of Peter Nkegbe and Eric Gbeho, looked untouched, the portion capturing Francis Tachie Menson’s name and designation on the paper looked different.
It appeared deeper in ink compared to the other names, addresses and designations showing some doctoring had taken place.
The Police CID, is said to be gearing up to storm the Registrar General’s Department to have confirm from its records, how Lawyer Philip Addison, who just picked nomination forms to contest the Akropong parliamentary primaries of the NPP, became a secretary of Merlin Gaming Ghana Limited set up in 2011.
This is because the original documents of the company, had Eric Gbeho, as both director and company secretary. It had no Francis Tachie Menson, as neither a shareholder nor secretary.
Director-General, Legal and Prosecution, COP Prosper Agblor, is mentioned as the officer in charge of the case.