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Capital Bank collapse: Ato Essien willing to refund GH¢27.5million to the state

Lawyers of Willaim Ato Essien, the founder of the defunct Capital Bank, who is standing trial for allegedly collapsing the bank, has told the Accra High Court that their client is willing to refund GH¢27.5 million back to the state.

The amount is what the state has accused Essien of using as business promotion and which he allegedly carried in jute bags to be distributed to some people.

Counsel for Essien, Mr Baffour Gyewu Bonsu told the court Thursday that his client had already paid GH¢1.4 million of the GH¢27.5 million to the state, reports Graphic Online’s court reporter, Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson.

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He said discussions were still ongoing with the prosecution and therefore the court should adjourn the case to enable the discussions to continue.

Proposal

The prosecutor, Mrs Mariana Appiah Oppong, a Chief State Attorney, confirmed to the court that lawyers for Essien had indeed informed her about their intention to pay the amount.

 

She, however, said the lawyers must bring a detailed proposal to the Director for Public Prosecution (DPP) and after a review the DPP would make a determination to accept it or not.

The court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei-Baffour, therefore, gave the lawyers for Essien one month to send the proposal to the DPP.

Hearing will continue on June 18, 2020 during which the prosecution is expected to report to the court whether or not it had accepted the proposal.

Essien; the then Managing Director of the bank, Fitzgerald Odonkor, and two other persons — Tettey Nettey, the Managing Director of MC Management Services, a company said to be owned by Essien, and Kate Quartey-Papafio, a businesswoman and Managing Director of Reroy Cables Company Limited — have been charged over the collapse of Capital Bank.

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The prosecution has accused the four people of engaging in various illegal acts that led to the dissipation of the GH¢620 million liquidity support given to Capital Bank by the BoG between June 2015 and November 2016.

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They pleaded not guilty to all the charges ranging from stealing, abetment to stealing, conspiracy to steal and money laundering.

Prosecution’s case

is the case of the prosecution that Essien, with Odonkor’s aid, transferred the liquidity support to certain companies either controlled by him or in which he had interest.

According to the prosecution, GH¢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.

The prosecution further alleged that between June and October 2015, Essien, aided by Odonkor, appropriated GH¢c27.5 million of the liquidity support by carrying it in jute bags.

It accused Essien of giving some liquidity support to his cronies in the form of a loan to be used to buy shares in Capital Bank.

With regard to Quartey-Papafio, the A-prosecution said as part of the scheme to further dissipate the GH¢620 million liquidity support, Essien transferred GH¢70 million of the money into Quartey-Papafio’s bank account at Cal Bank.

The prosecution further accused Quartey-Papafio of trying to withdraw the money in 2017, even though she was aware that Capital Bank had collapsed and was in receivership.

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The withdrawal, the prosecution submitted, was, however, prevented by the receivers of Capital Bank.

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