State wants founder of defunct Capital Bank William Ato Essien jailed

State wants founder of defunct Capital Bank William Ato Essien jailed
CEO of defunct Capital Bank William Ato Essien

The founder of the defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, could face imprisonment for not making payments as part of his GH¢90 million restitution deal, as the state has filed processes at the High Court.

Ato Essien was supposed to pay GH¢20 million by April 28, 2023, but has failed to make the payment, according to the state.

The application for imprisonment sighted by The Ghanaian Standard stated that Ato Essien failed to honour an agreement to pay the first instalment out of the GH¢90 million restitution and reparation money after pleading guilty to the offences levelled against him.

The State Attorney explained that the expiration of the April 28 deadline is what necessitated the State's action. Instead of facing an earlier jail sentence, Ato Essien, who pleaded guilty to accusations of causing financial loss to the state, agreed to refund GH¢90 million he confessed to having stolen after entering a plea bargain with the state under Section 35 of the Courts Act.

As part of the agreement, he made a GH¢30 million deposit and was expected to pay the whole balance of GH¢60 million in three instalments, the first of which was due on April 28.

The State had written to the Controller and Accountant General's Department asking if the money had been paid by the respondent on the said date, however, it has emerged that no such payment has been made. Therefore, the State contends that Ato Essien, having failed to make the payment, is liable to a custodial sentence.

Mr Essien is standing trial together with the former Managing Director of the Bank, Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, and a former Managing Director of MC Management Service, Tetteh Nettey, also owned by Mr Ato Essien.

Together, they were tried on 23 counts of criminality, including conspiracy to steal and stealing in connection with the collapse of Capital Bank in 2017.

They however pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintained their innocence all throughout the trial, with Mr. Ato Essien maintaining at all material moments that he had Board approval for all actions he took.

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