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Business News of Thursday, 21 May 2020

Source: Class FM

Capital Bank saga: Ato Essien willing to refund GH¢27.5m to the state - Lawyers


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The founder of the now-defunct Capital Bank, Mr William Ato Essien, has told an Accra High Court, through his lawyers, that he is willing to refund GH¢27.5 million to the state, and, thus, demanding the dropping of some of the charges levelled against him in connection with the collapse of the bank.

Among other charges, the state accused Mr Essien of using GH¢27.5 million for business promotion.

He allegedly carted the money in jute bags and distributed it to some people.

His lawyer, Mr Baffour Gyewu Bonsu told the court on Thursday, 21 May 2020 that Mr Essien had already refunded GH¢1.4 million of the GH¢27.5 million and also returned some 19 newly-cleared cars to the state.

Although Chief State Attorney Mrs Mariana Appiah Oppong confirmed that state was in talks with Mr Essien and his legal team over the refund, she asked that the defence lawyers provide a detailed proposal to the Director for Public Prosecution (DPP) for review.

Mr Essien’s lawyers have up to a month to that.

Justice Kyei-Baffour, therefore, adjourned the case to 18 June 2020.

It is the case of the Attorney General that Mr Essien, together with Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, MD; Tettey Nettey and Kate Quartey Papafio, a businesswoman, stole, conspired to steal or laundered more than GH¢220 million belonging to Capital Bank, which, among other things, led to its collapse.

They are facing 26 counts in all.

Among others, the state is accusing Mr Essien and Tetteh Nettey of conspiring “to steal contrary to sections 23 (1) and 124 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960 (Act 29).”

“William Ato Essien and Tetteh Nettey between October and November 2015 in Accra in the Greater Accra Region, agreed to act together with a common purpose to steal the sum of GH¢100,000,000, property of Capital Bank Limited,” portions of the writ read.

Count two is the abetment of crime, namely, stealing contrary to section 20 (1) and 124 (1) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960 (Act 29).

“Fitzgerald Odonkor, between October and November 2015 in Accra in the Greater Accra Region, abetted William Ato Essien and Tetteh Nettey to dishonestly appropriate the sum of GH¢100,000,000, the property of Capital Bank Limited”

“Fitzgerald Odonkor, in September 2015 in Accra in the Greater Accra Region abetted William Ato Essien to dishonestly appropriate the sum of GH¢5,000,000, the property of Capital Bank Limited. William Ato Essien in September 2015 in Accra in the Greater Accra Region dishonestly appropriated the sum of GH¢12,000,000, the property of Capital Bank Limited,” the writ said.

As far as the money laundering charge is concerned, the writ said: “Mr Essien and Kate Quartey-Papafio, between June and August 2017 in Accra in the Greater Accra Region, disguised the sum of GH¢70,000,000 knowing it to be proceeds of crime”.

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