Ato Essien pleads guilty, court accepts Ghc 90m repayment

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William Ato Essien, the founder of the now-defunct Capital Bank, pled guilty to accusations of misappropriating depositors’ monies as well as additional counts of theft, including money laundering and aiding and abetting theft.

This came after the court approved the conditions of the settlement struck between Mr. Essien’s attorneys and the prosecution, which called for the payment of a total of GH$90,000,000 in refunds to the state.

As per the parties’ agreement, he was later found guilty of the charge on the basis of his own plea.

After being questioned by the judge on how both sides arrived at the figure of GH 90 million, the prosecution, represented by the Deputy Attorney General, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah, responded.

He said that official investigations revealed that Capital Bank’s 65 million and 35 million Ghana cedis were utilized by another business, Capital African Group, to purchase Capital Bank shares.

The prosecution said that after discovering this through its investigations, the share purchase was cancelled and Capital Bank kept the funds.

The share transaction was cancelled and the money was kept since these sums were included in the about GH 192 million in charges against the accused people.

The prosecution further pointed out that the combined sum from these two transactions is GHC 100 million, making GHC 92 million the current outstanding balance out of GHC 192 million.

Ato Essien is on trial with Tettey Nettey, the MD of MC Management Services, a business that is rumored to be controlled by Essien, and Fitzgerald Odonkor, the MD of the bank that went out of business.

The prosecution has charged the three people with committing a number of crimes that caused a portion of the GH620 million in liquidity support provided by the BoG to the Capital Bank between June 2015 and November 2016 to be lost.



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