Ghanaian businessman William Ato Essien is liable for custodial sentence after failing to make payments as part of his GH¢90m restitution deal
William Ato Essien, founder of the defunct Capital Bank, is facing imprisonment after failing to make payments as part of his GH¢90 million restitution deal with the State. According to the State, Ato Essien was supposed to pay GH¢20 million by April 28, 2023, but has failed to do so.
As part of the agreement, he made a GHS 30 million deposit and was expected to pay the whole balance of GHS 60 million in three installments. The first installment was due on April 28. The State had written to the Controller and Accountant General’s Department asking if the money had been paid by the respondent on the said date. However, it has emerged that no such payment has been made. Therefore, the State contends that Ato Essien is liable to a custodial sentence for failing to make the payment.
Ato Essien had pleaded guilty to accusations of causing financial loss to the state and was asked to refund GHS 90 million he confessed to having stolen after entering into a plea bargain with the state under Section 35 of the Courts Act instead of facing an earlier jail sentence.
Ato Essien is standing trial together with Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, former Managing Director of Capital Bank and Tetteh Nettey, former Managing Director of MC Management Service also owned by Mr. Ato Essien. Together they were tried on 23 counts of criminality including conspiracy to steal and stealing in connection with the collapse of Capital Bank in 2017. They however pleaded not guilty to the charges and maintained their innocence all throughout the trial with Mr. Ato Essien maintaining at all material moments that he had Board approval for all actions he took.