Defunct Capital Bank founder Ato Essien released after detention

BY: Maxwell Akalaare Adombila
Mr William Ato Essien
Mr William Ato Essien

The Economic and Organised Crimes Office (EOCO) has granted bail to Mr William Ato Essien, the founder of collapsed bank, Capital Bank after detaining him overnight.

EOCO invited Mr Essien on Tuesday April 17 to assist with ongoing investigations into circumstances leading to the collapse of the bank in August last year.

Its Executive Director, Mr K. K. Amoah, told Graphic Online Wednesday that the detention was “part of the investigation process.”

He, however, declined to say what informed the decision to detain him overnight except to say he is to be reporting to EOCO as part of the process.

This visit to EOCO’s offices on April 17 is the second in a week.


On April 10, Mr Essien and other former directors of the bank appeared before the anti-graft body to help answer questions pertaining to the collapse of the bank.

They were, however, cautioned and released.

Mr Essien is the founder of First Capital Plus Bank (FCPBL), which later transformed into Capital Bank, and a number of companies, including Essien Swiss International Capital Holdings (ESICH), Gye Nyame Mines, and Wade-Laurel Printing Press Limited.

Shirking of responsibilities
The licence of the erstwhile Capital Bank and that of UT Bank were withdrawn on August 14 2017 after the banks were found to be illiquid and deficient in capital.

Consequently, a purchase and assumption (P&A) agreement was signed with largely state-owned bank, GCB Bank, to assume ownership of assets and select liabilities.

Since then, the Bank of Ghana has openly panned the former directors for allegedly shirking their responsibilities in return for favours, leading to the collapse of the two banks, while EOCO is looking at probable criminal acts that could form the bases for prosecution.