The former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Capital Bank, William Ato Essien has commenced negotiations with the Attorney General’s Department for some of the charges levelled against him in connection with the collapse of the bank.
According to lawyers of Mr. Essien, their client has so far refunded close to GHS1.4 million and returned some 19 newly cleared cars from the port as well as his willingness to return about GHS27 million to the state.
The lawyers have thus begun talks with the AG based on section 35 of the Courts Act which allows for an offer of payment or reimbursement in respect of some of the charges brought against the accused persons.
In court today, Chief State Attorney, Mrs. Mariana Appiah Oppong confirmed the talks with Mr. Essien and his legal team over the refund, which prompted presiding judge, Justice Kyei Baffour, to adjourn the case to June 18, 2020, for the two parties to report back to him.
Mr. Ato Essien is facing trial, with three former executives of the defunct bank; Fitzgerald Odonkor, Kate Quartey-Papafio, and Tetteh Nettey for stealing, conspiring to steal or launder more than GHS220 million belonging to Capital Bank, which, among others, led to its collapse.
The prosecution, led by the Attorney-General (AG), Ms. Gloria Afua Akuffo, accused the four persons of engaging in various illegal acts that led to the dissipation of the GH¢620 million liquidity support given to Capital Bank by the Bank of Ghana between June 2015 and November 2016.
It is the case of the AG that Essien, with Odonkor’s aid, transferred the liquidity support to certain companies either controlled by him or in which he had an interest.
According to the AG, GHS 130 million of the liquidity support was transferred to MC Management Services, which was later presented to the BoG as the initial capital to set up Sovereign Bank, another bank in which Essien had an interest.