•  Ato Essien
• Ato Essien

Jail Ato Essien "A-G tells court"

The Attorney–General (A-G) has filed a motion at the High Court in Accra seeking the imprisonment of the Founder of the defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien.

The motion filed yesterday and signed by a Chief State Attorney, Evelyn D. Keelson, followed the failure of Essien to meet the last Friday, April 28 deadline of paying GH¢20million to the state as part of a restitution agreed between him and the A-G and affirmed by the court.

Essien, who has been convicted for stealing and dissipating over GH¢90 million of liquidity support given to the Capital Bank by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), is under obligation to pay GH¢60million in three instalments to the state, with the deadline for the first instalment on April 28, 2023.

Custodial sentence

The convict risks going to prison if he defaults in paying the money in accordance with the terms of the agreement.

In the motion, the A-G contends that its checks at the Controller and Accountant General Department revealed that Essien failed to pay the money by the deadline.

“That, in a response dated May 2, 2023, the Controller and Accountant General informed the applicant [A-G] that no such payment had been made by the respondent [Essien].

That, having failed to fulfil a condition imposed on him by this Honourable Court under Section 35 of the Courts Act, the outstanding amount under the agreement has become due and the respondent is liable to a custodial sentence by the court,” the A-G averred.


On December 13, last year, Essien pleaded guilty to 16 counts of stealing and money laundering and was accordingly convicted on his own plea by the court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour.

However, the convict avoided a non-custodial sentence after the court accepted an agreement between him and the prosecution for him (Essien) to pay the GH¢90 million as restitution

The agreement was pursuant to Section 35 of the Courts Act, 1993 (Act 459), which allows accused persons standing trial for causing financial loss to the state to pay the money and possibly avoid a custodial sentence.

Based on the agreement, Essien has already paid GH¢30 million (out of the remaining GH¢90 million) to the state and will pay the remaining GH¢60 million in three instalments of GH¢20 million by the close of this year.

Consequence of default

The court ordered him to pay the first instalment on or before April 28, 2023, the second on or before August 31, 2023, and the last instalment on or before December 15, 2023.

“In that event, the prosecution shall cause the immediate apprehension of the convict and produce him before the court as soon as practicable for a custodial sentence to be passed on him according to law,” Justice Kyei Baffour ordered.

By virtue of pleading guilty, the court also barred Essien from being appointed as a director or holding any key management position in any bank or financial institution in line with the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930).

“Pursuant to section 58(1) of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), the 1st accused person is prohibited from being appointed or from accepting an appointment as director or key management person of a bank, specialised deposit-taking institution or financial holding company,” Justice Kyei Baffour ordered.

Not guilty

The two others accused of conspiring with Essien to steal the money were acquitted and discharged after the court found them not guilty.

They are a former Managing Director of Capital Bank, Fitzgerald Odonkor, and Tettey Nettey, the Chief Executive Officer of MC Management, a company said to be controlled by Essien.

Justice Kyei Baffour held that the evidence on record showed that Odonkor and Nettey did not act in any way with the belief or intention that they were helping Essien to commit a crime.

“Second and third accused persons are found not guilty of all the charges against them and are accordingly acquitted and discharged,” the judge ruled.

Writer’s email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tag Cloud

| Ghana Politics Today  

News in Ghana | News Today | Ghana News

| Daily Graphic News |

Connect With Us : 0242202447 | 0551484843 | 0266361755 | 059 199 7513 |