An Accra High Court has prohibited William Ato Essien, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the defunct Capital Bank from holding any key position in any bank or financial institution.
The court, however, suspended Essien’s Custodial sentence.
This was after the court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, a Court of Appeal Judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge, had accepted an agreement between Essien and the state in relation to Section 35 of the Court’s Act.
Section 35 of the Court’s Act allows a party to pay or refund money stolen from the state with interest. It also affords the accused from doing jail term when found guilty.
Delivering its Judgement in the defunct Capital Bank scandal, the court convicted Essien on his own plea on 16 counts of conspiracy to steal, stealing and money laundering.
“The accused shall pay GH₵90 million restitution within one year as stated in the agreement,” the court said.
According to the court, Essien had earlier paid GH₵30 million to the state.
He is expected to pay an outstanding amount of GH₵60 million in three instalments of GH₵20 million on April 20, 2023, August 31, 2023, and December 15, 2023.
The GH₵90 million consists of GH₵27.5 million allocated to business promotion, GH₵30 million which prosecution said could not be accounted for and GH₵32.5 million as reparation, restitution and interest.
The court held that if Essien’s failed to pay any of the amount, “he shall be produced before the court for him to be sentenced.”
“If you default in the payment of the first payment, the prosecution will produce him for sentence,” it added.
The court further directed the Registrar of the Court not to release Essien’s passport to him until the completion of his payments.
“Mr. Essien you are a businessman, you are to pay the amount,” the court said.
Essien in response to the court, said, “My Lord I am most grateful,”
Essien’s accomplices namely Tetteh Nettey, Managing Director of MS Management Service, a company allegedly established by Essien and Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, former Managing Director of Capital Bank were acquitted and discharged by the court.
The court found them not guilty on the various charges of abetment of crime, conspiracy to steal and stealing and ordered the Registrar of the court to release their passports to them.
Rev. Odonkor said he was grateful to God.
In the case of Mr Nettey, he told journalists that he did not expect to go back to his home after the judgement.
The state put the accused persons on trial for their alleged roles, which led to the collapse of Capital Bank in 2016.
They were said to have misappropriated GH₵620 million liquidity support offered by the Bank of Ghana to Capital Bank.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the various charges of money laundering, conspiracy to steal, stealing, and abetment of crime, among others.
The state during the over three -year trial called 17 witnesses to make their case.
The accused persons, after closing their case, filed a submission of no case but the court upheld it in respect of Madam Kate Quartey Papafio, a businessperson.
It, however, called on Essien, Nettey and Odonkor to open their defence.