Capital Bank’s Ato Essien Imprisoned 15 Years. This’ His Crime

William A to Essien

The Accra High Court has imposed a 15-year jail term on the founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, for stealing over GH₵90 million belonging to the bank.

Essien, who was indicted in December last year for stealing over GH₵90 million having a place with Capital Bank, kept away from a custodial sentence after the court acknowledged an agreement between him and the Attorney-General (A-G) for him (Essien) to pay the GH₵90 million as restitution to the state.

In the ruling, the court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, held that Essien has failed to pay the restitution to the state per the agreed terms with the A-G.

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.

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Essien paid GH₵30 million of the sum on December 1, 2022, and per the arrangement as taken on by the court, he was required to pay the leftover GH₵60 million in three instalments with the first payment at the very latest April 28, 2023, the second in August 31, 2023, and then the last instalment in December 15, 2023.

But according to Justice Kyei Baffour, as of now, Essien had paid just GH₵7 million out of a potential GH¢40 million, missing the cutoff times for April 28 and August 31 this year, bringing the total paid to GH₵37 million of the total GH₵90 million.

Justice Kyei Baffour, however, ruled that Essien could regain his freedom if he paid the outstanding sum of GH₵53 million, which is what is left for him to pay to the state as reparation and restitution.

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