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General News of Friday, 27 September 2019

Source: 3new.com

Ato Essien sues Bank of Ghana

Former Managing Director of defunct Capital Bank William Ato Essien says he has taken legal action against the Bank of Ghana despite forgiving the Central Bank over the dissolution of the bank he founded.

He said the suit is purposely to protect his personal assets and property.

“My property must be protected under the Property Protection Act.

“We are a property-owning democracy. Hard work must be rewarded. This is a baby for 15 years.”

He made this known in an exclusive interview on Metro TV’s Good Evening Ghana on Tuesday, September 26.

He said so far he has accounted for every money he is alleged to have expended while at the Bank.

After leaving Capital Bank as its first MD, Mr Essien still attended board meetings as the majority shareholder.

He is alleged to have taken monies from the Bank to set up another financial institution First Capital Plus Bank.

He insinuated that he had been cleared by the Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO), the compelling reason why he is breaking his silence after two years.

Capital Bank was among the first universal banks to go down following reforms by the Central Bank beginning in 2017.

Capital Bank together with UT Bank was handed over to GCB Bank to manage.

Later in 2018, five other banks were amalgamated into the Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG).

Still, others like the GN Bank were downgraded to a savings and loans firm though that was short-lived as its license was revoked in 2019.

GN has since taken the matter to court.

Mr Essien said he made every effort to keep Capital Bank solvent.

He told host Paul Adom-Otchere that he globe-trotted just to secure funds to keep the bank financially viable.

He said he was led by Yoofi Grant, the current Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC), to Ray Sowah, the current CEO of GCB Bank but then in the UK, to secure funds from UK-based Ambrose Goldsmith.

But after paying 100,000 Euros to meet conditions precedent, Mr Essien said he never received the 35 million Euros he was promised.

He, however, said he is not interested in taking any legal action and not thinking he was fleeced by Mr Grant and Mr Sowah.

“There are some things you better walk quite well,” he said.

He, however, insisted he will pursue his suit against the Bank of Ghana.

According to him, his bank was in good standing contrary to perceptions that it was distressed.

For him, the Bank would not have interested the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, and board chairman of Enterprise Group, Kelli Gadzekpo, if it was distressed.

He revealed that the two were in his office in 2016 to show interest in his Bank.