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Business News of Thursday, 22 July 2021

Source: 3news.com

Capital Bank saga: Ato Essien files application for stay of proceedings

Capital Bank was one of the first banks that collapsed after banking sector clean-up by the BoG Capital Bank was one of the first banks that collapsed after banking sector clean-up by the BoG

Lawyer for William Ato Essien, founder of the defunct Capital Bank, Baffour Gyau Bonsu Ashia, has filed a motion at the Commercial Division of the Accra High Court for a stay of proceedings.

This is in the case where three persons are standing trial for the collapse of Capital Bank Limited.

Baffour Gyau Bonsu Ashia holding brief for Thadeus Sory, told the court he has filed a motion for stay of proceedings reasons for his actions he did not state in open court.

Court of Appeal judge sitting in as an additional High Court judge, Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, in ruling on the notice by the lawyer of the Ato Essien said, “In view of the motion filed by Counsel for the First Accused for a stay of proceedings this morning and slated to be moved on the 29th of July 2021, I will adjourn the suit to the said date.”

In the last sitting, the Court discharged and acquitted one of the accused persons a businesswoman, Kate Quartey-Papafio, who was charged for stealing and money laundering.

This was after the four originally filed an application of no case after the prosecution presented 17 witnesses which they were supposed to open their defence.

According to the Court, the evidence put up by prosecution against Kate Quartey-Papafio was weak to establish a prima facie case against her.

Now, William Ato Essien, Tetteh Nettey and Fitzgerald Odonkor have been left to prove their innocence with the charges proffered against them.

They have been charged for playing various roles leading to the collapse of Capital Bank Limited.

The accused persons, who all served as executives of the bank, have pleaded not guilty to charges including stealing and are currently on bail.

Background

Capital Bank was one of the first banks that collapsed after a massive clean-up of financial institutions by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) starting in 2017.

On August 14, 2017, its licence and UT Bank were revoked by the BoG after the BoG had declared them insolvent.

The BoG allowed the state-owned bank, the GCB Bank, to acquire the two banks to protect depositors’ funds and enable them to stay afloat.

Charges

William Ato Essien was originally charged with eight counts of stealing, eight counts of money laundering and three counts of conspiracy to stealing, making it a total of 19 counts.

But, William Ato Essien who was also accused of same offences with Kate Quartey-Papafio was also acquitted and discharged on three counts of the charges, which means they are left with 16 counts against him.

Tetteh Nettey faces two counts of stealing, two counts of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy to steal, making his a total of 6 counts.

Fitzgerald Odonkor, on the other hand, is charged with seven counts of abetment of crime, namely stealing.

The state estimates that the accused persons have misappropriated GH¢ 262,500,000.00.

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