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Is Essien to pay only GH₵90m of BoG’s GH₵620m and walk free?



Ato Essien, Nerwscenta, GHC20m, default, explanation, court,

William Ato Essien, a former Chief Executive Officer of defunct Capital Bank, has agreed to plead guilty in the GH₵620 million Bank of Ghana liquidity support misappropriation trial.

The court scheduled December 1, to deliver its judgment after three years of trial.

It has, however, adjourned the matter to Tuesday, December 13, for the prosecution and lawyers of the accused to address it on Section 35 of Act 459 of the Courts Act, which relates to restitution and reparation.

The court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, a Court of Appeal Judge sitting with additional responsibility as a High Court Judge in its ruling on the settlement terms, held that the law on restitution and reparation was not applicable in the instant case and found the agreement reached between the state and Essien complex and unacceptable.

The trial Judge, therefore, adjourned the matter for the state and Essien’s lawyers to address him properly on the terms of the settlement.


He explained that the issues of restitution and reparation could be considered before the trial commences or during the trial.

The court therefore questioned the basis for the restitution or reparation in the instant matter before it.

GH₵90m refund

It noted that Essien had agreed to plead guilty to the offences and refund an amount of GH₵90 million he allegedly stole in the year 2015 and 2016.

 GH₵30m already paid


The court said Essien had already refunded GH₵30 million to the state.

State did not factor in depreciation

However, the state in considering the settlement terms did not consider the value of the depreciated money over the years.

State must consider value of the money using exchange rates

According to the court, it was important for the state to consider the value of the money in relation to the current exchange rates.


Making committing crime attractive

Justice Kyei Baffour held that if the accused could refund the money without paying interest that will amount to partial restitution and make committing crime attractive.

The agreement should not appear to have outwitted the state in the crime.

It noted that the money in question was for the depositors and shareholder of defunct capital bank although the Bank of Ghana was the complainant in the case.

2 others on trial with Essien


Essien Majority Shareholder of Capital Bank Limited is standing trial with Rev Fitzgerald Odonkor, a former MD of Capital bank and Tettey Nettey, MD of MC Management Services, a company allegedly owned by Essien.

GH₵620 liquidity support from BoG

The accused persons were said to have misappropriated GH₵620 million liquidity support offered by the Bank of Ghana to Capital Bank.

They have denied the various charges namely stealing, abetment of crime, conspiracy to steal and money laundering.

The case of the state is that between June and November 2015, pursuant to an application by Capital Bank, BoG provided a total sum of GH₵620 million as Liquidity Support to Capital Bank to enable it to meet its capital adequacy ratio as well as enable it service the maturing debt of meditation.


GH₵120 transferred to All Time Capital Limited

Prosecution said in October 2015, Essien, aided by Rev Odonkor, caused a transfer of a sum of GH₵120 million of the Liquidity Support to All Time Capital Limited, an investment management and advisory firm.

GH₵100m transferred to MC Management Services

The state said at the instance of Essien and Odonkor, GH₵100 million of the GH₵120 million, which had been transferred to All Time Capital, was further transferred to MC Management Services.

GH₵20m transferred to Pronto Construction


The remaining GH₵20 million of the amount was transferred to Pronto Construction and Supplies Limited.

GH₵100m used as capital to set up Sovereign Bank

According to Prosecution, the GH₵100 million, which was transferred to MC Management Services, was subsequently represented by Nettey to BoG as initial capital of Sovereign Bank while the GH₵20 million that was transferred to Pronto Construction and Supplies Limited was used by its Managing Director, ostensibly to purchase shares in Capital Bank.

GH₵65m transferred to Nordea Capital Limited

Prosecution said again, at the instance of Essien and Rev Odonkor, GH₵65 million out of the BoG’s Liquidity Support of GH₵620 million was transferred to Nordea Capital Limited, described as an investment bank.


GH₵30m transferred to MC Management Services

The State averred that of the GH₵65 million, Essien, aided by Odonkor, caused GH₵30 million to be transferred to MC Management Services, which was represented to the BoG as additional initial capital of Sovereign Bank by Nettey.

GH₵35m transferred to Bristling Services

The remaining GH₵35 million being paid into Fidelity Bank Account of Bristling Services, a company established by Essien.

GH₵35m again transferred to Capital Africa Group


At the request of Essien, the GH₵35 million, which was transferred into the Bristling Account, was subsequently transferred to Capital Africa Group, a company owned by Essien.

GH₵130m then transferred to Capital Africa Group

Prosecution said the total amount of GH₵130 million represented as initial capital of Sovereign Bank was eventually channeled by Essien and Nettey into Capital Africa Group with less bank charge, and which they eventually dissipated.

GH₵27.5m allocated to business promotion

Between June 2015 and October 2016, Essien, with the support of Rev Odonkor, appropriated a total of GH₵27.5 million of the Liquidity Support, which was conveyed in jute bags to Essien and purportedly used as payment for business promotion.


GH₵100m paid to MDs of 3 companies

Prosecution said in June 2017, in furtherance of the conversion of the portion of GH₵620 million Liquidity Support, Essien caused GH₵100 million to be paid into a Capital Bank Account held by the Managing Director of three companies; Mariposa Enterprise Limited, Hardwick Limited and Volta Impex Enterprise Limited.

The state submitted that the three companies were purposely to receive the amount (GH₵100 million).

Prosecution said that amount was to be used by the Managing Director ostensibly as payment for 30% shares in Capital Bank.

Prosecution said Essien prevailed on the Managing Director to submit copies of government payment certificates of the three companies valued at GH₵135 million to be discounted at GH₵105 million by Capital Bank, and to be used as collateral for the purported loan of GH₵100 million.


GH₵70m transferred to account of Kate Papafio

The State said Essien then caused GH₵70 million out of the GH₵100 million that had previously been paid into the Managing Director’s account at Capital Bank to be transferred to Kate’s account at CAL Bank Limited.

Prosecution said Essien and Kate subsequently caused the GH₵70-million to be further transferred into Kate Papafio’s personal account at Capital Bank, adding that the account was purposely opened to receive the amount.

Sometime in 2017, prosecution said after Capital Bank had received the money, Papafio, even though fully aware that Capital Bank had gone into liquidation, attempted to withdraw the whole amount of GH₵70 million but was, however, prevented by the receivers (Capital Bank).




Ofori-Atta appeals to Parliament to approve revenue measures



Ofori-Atta, Newscenta, revenue measures, debt restructuring, parliament,

Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta has informed parliament of his intention to present necessary fiscal adjustments to the house in august after the debt operation is completed.

Outstanding revenue mobilisation bills

Already, he said the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, Excise Duty & Excise Tax Stamp (Amendment) Bills as well as the Growth and Sustainability Levy Bill, are outstanding in Parliament.

According to him, the consideration and approval of fiscal measures by Parliament are critical for recovery from the current economic crisis.

Facilitating IMF Board approval


The Minister therefore entreated Parliament to prioritise the approval of the outstanding revenue mobilisation bills to facilitate the Board Approval for International Monetary Fund (IMF) Programme staff level agreement by the end of March, 2023.

“We are still counting on you for the passage of all the outstanding revenue Bills which are necessary for effective Budget Implementation as well as boosting our efforts at increasing our Tax-to-GDP from less than 13% to the sub-Saharan average of 18,” he stated.

Expected impact of IMF Board approval

He is confident IMF Board approval will restore macro-economic stability, ensure debt sustainability as well as provide critical social protection for the benefit of Ghanaians.

Factors that impacted economy negatively


COVID-19, Russia-Ukraine war, soaring energy and food prices, higher interest rates, a strong dollar and a global slowdown negatively affected the economy.

Ghana seeking $3 billion loan

Ghana and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have reached staff-level agreement on economic policies and reforms to be supported by a new three-year arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) of about $3 billion.

But, the IMF has made it clear that the Board approval of the deal is contingent on a successful debt exchange programme.

Broader govt response strategy


Addressing Parliament on the ongoing debt restructuring efforts, Ofori-Atta explained that debt operations are a composite part of a broader government response strategy for addressing the current challenges.

While being optimistic about IMF programme to boost confidence in the economy, he emphasized that complementing it with enhanced domestic mobilisation efforts is critical.

4 out of 5 agreed Prior Actions in the Staff Level Agreement

The Finance Minister averred that the passage of the Bills will enable government to complete four out of five agreed Prior Actions in the Staff Level Agreement.

Agreed Prior Actions already implemented


He noted that tariff adjustment by the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Publication of the Auditor-General’s Report on COVID-19 Spending, and Onboarding of Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF) and Road Fund on the Ghana integrated financial management information system (GIFMIS) have all been completed.

International and domestic bond markets are shut

Ofori-Atta reminded the legislators that the international and domestic bond markets are shut for the financing of government’s programmes, forcing government to rely on the Treasury Bills and concessional loans as the primary sources of financing for the 2023 fiscal year.

Therefore, he called on Parliament to support the government’s financing requests to ensure a smooth recovery from the economic challenges.

He thanked everyone who tendered and supported the Domestic Debt Exchange programme saying “It is a truly remarkable act of sacrifice in our nation’s history. We thank those who heeded our clarion call and took the selfless, patriotic decision to participate. Your names and deeds will never be forgotten. Your timely support is deeply appreciated,”.


He is confident that the programme government has set out for this year, supported by Parliament, will get Ghana out of the economic crisis that has hit the economy since Covid-19.

Inflation interest and exchange rates to stabilise

He hopes for stability in the exchange rates, inflation and interest rates, bringing businesses and families some respite.

Suspension of payments of interest on foreign debt

Government also announced a suspension of all debt service payments for certain categories of external debt, pending an orderly restructuring.


International bondholders

Ofori-Atta revealed that Ghana initiated discussions with representatives of international bondholders and their Advisors.

According to him, substantive discussions are due to start with them in the weeks to come.

G-20 Debt Treatment initiative

Ghana officially asked its bilateral creditors for a Debt Treatment initiative under the G-20 Common framework.


Negotiations with commercial creditors underway

The Finance minister said the process of negotiations have started in good faith with commercial creditors.

Ofori-Atta stated that two preliminary discussions and exchange of information have started on a good footing with representative committees and advisors.

Creditor Committee to assess Ghana’s request

According to him, the members have indicated their commitment to establish a Creditor Committee to assess Ghana’s request for debt treatment under the Common Framework by end February, 2023.

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IMF assigns resident financial supervision adviser to BoG



Financial adviser, BoG, Newscenta, banking sector supervision, IMF,

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has assigned a Resident financial sector supervision adviser to the Bank of Ghana (BoG) to provide technical assistance and help build the capacity of the banking supervision function.

The appointment was at the request of Bank of Ghana with full funding from Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Mr. Leonard Chumo, the Resident Adviser, started his assignment at the Bank of Ghana on February 6, 2023, and was expected to stay for three years.

A statement issued by BoG in Accra said the Adviser’s placement was a continuation of cooperation in this area between the Bank, the IMF and SECO, that started as early as in 2015 and had already seen the assignment of a previous Adviser until 2018.

It said achievements from the past collaborative efforts include the passage of the Banks and Specialised Deposit-Taking Institutions Act, 2016 (Act 930), the development and issuance of the Corporate Governance Directive 2018, and the Capital Requirement Directive 2018.


Mr Chumo, brings first-hand knowledge of supervisory work from leading central banks as well as previous technical assistance experience in the Western Africa region.

The statement said among others, he would support the implementation of Pillar two and three of the Basel II/ III capital frameworks, as well as strengthen the Risk-Based Supervisory framework at the Bank of Ghana.

The Bank commended the management of SECO for the continued funding of Long-Term Technical Experts from the IMF to the Bank.

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Govt pledges to pay coupons, principals on all maturing bonds  



Coupons, Newscenta, maturing principals, bondholders, payment,

Government has assured all bondholders, including those who self-exempted from the voluntary Domestic Debt Exchange Programme (DDEP) that it will honour all coupon payments and maturing principals when due.

Payment of coupons and principal for bonds that matured since   February 6 to date (herein referred to as ‘Due Bonds’ remain outstanding.

Bondholders want government to make payments not later than Friday, February 17, 2023.

A statement issued by the Finance Ministry indicates that more than 80% bondholders participated in its $137 billion DDEP.

“The DDEP closed on Friday February 10, 2023, with over 80% participation of eligible bonds,” it said.


The Finance Ministry pledged to honour all coupon payments and maturing principals in addition to commitments to further streamline Government’s expenditures.

“We would like to stress that, all Individual bondholders, especially our Senior Citizens, should rest assured that their coupon payments and maturing principals, like all Government bonds, will be honoured in line with Government’s Fiscal commitments.

“The Government would like to reassure all individual bondholders who elected not to participate that your coupon payments and maturing principals, like all Government bonds, will be honoured in line with Government fiscal commitments,” it added.

Government reiterated that the DDEP had been executed to help protect the economy and enhance Ghana’s capacity to service its public debts effectively, as its debt had become unsustainable.

The alternative for not executing the DDEP would have brought grave disorder in the servicing of our national debt and exacerbated the current economic crisis.


It expressed gratitude to bondholders for the overwhelming participation, adding that their support and contributions had gotten Ghana much closer to securing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

There are fears that those who opt against signing up are not guaranteed market liquidity for the old bonds, because they are likely to become less tradeable on the secondary market compared with the new bonds.

On the other hand, individuals who sign up for the new bonds will have more certainty even in a changing economic landscape.

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