I will pay ¢130 million out of the ¢620 million - Ato Essien begs court

Founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien who is facing trial over a ¢620 million embezzlement has offered to pay ¢130 million to the state.

William Ato Essien, founder of defunct Capital Bank

The embattled businessman and two others have been accused of misappropriating liquidity support of ¢620 million bailouts given by the Bank of Ghana to Capital Bank to service its maturing debt before its liquidation.

He is facing 23 counts of money laundering, conspiracy to steal and stealing alongside his former Managing Director Fitzgerald Odonkor and former Director of Mr Essien’s MC Management Services.

According to the prosecution, the suspects opened bank accounts with the Capital Bank through which the BoG’s money was transferred. Jute bags containing part of the bailout money were also said to have been sent to Mr Ato Essien as payment for ‘business promotion’.

Before the latest offer, Mr Ato Essien had offered to refund the ¢27.5 million, which is said to have been carried in the bags.

However, on January 13, his lawyer Baffuor Gyau Bonsu Ashia, who held brief for Thaddeus Sory amended the offer.

“We have also included GH¢130 million that also forms part of the charges,” Myjoyonline.com quoted the lawyer as having said.

Baffuor Ashia told an Accra High Court that “the prosecution has written to us dated December 30, 2021, where the prosecution has made its stance very clear.”

He added: “The only difficulty between us as defence counsel and the prosecution is the quantum which an independent auditor can easily resolve.”

However, after assessing the documents available to him, the trial judge, Justice Kyei Baffuor was not convinced that the defence party have reached a compromise with the prosecution on the amount the accused banker must refund to the state.

He added that as far as he is concerned, the trial will continue as planned unless the state decides otherwise.


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