Ato Essien to ‘cough up’ GH¢12m before July 27

William Ato Essien, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the defunct Capital Bank, is expected to ‘cough up’ GH¢12 million before the 27th of this month (July), or risks going to jail.

Mr. Essien, who was convicted on his own plea of guilty in December 2022, is expected to make the payment of GH¢20 million in every four months of 2023, but had since paid only GH¢8 million.

The convict, per the agreement reached between him and the prosecution, was to pay GH¢60 million to the state by the end of the year. The amount in question was spread over 12 months to enable him make the payments.

However, at the last two adjourned dates,  Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, a Court of Appeal Judge with an additional duty of the High Court, was told that the accused had made payment up to GH¢5 million, leaving the total outstanding balance of GH¢55 million.

The convict’s lawyers, in May, applied to the court to give them more time, as Essien was expecting huge inflows from his investments to defray his indebtedness to the state.

Based on this plea, and the prosecution not opposing the application, the court adjourned the case to June 4, expecting the convict to finish paying the first GH¢20 million.

His counsel, Thaddeus Sory, represented by Baffour Gyawu Bonsu, appealed to the court to grant them more time to make the payment.

According to him, the convict was expecting about US$300,000 by this July from an arrangement executed between Essien Swiss and Anarico Company Limited.

Mr. Bonsu added that GH¢2 million had been transferred to the state, as well as an attached cheque of GH¢1 million.

He said the convict’s difficulty to make prompt payment was due to the seizure of his passport, and, therefore, applied for the release of it, which was declined.

His Lordship Baffour cautioned that the debt owed by the convict did not emanate from a civil case, but a criminal one, making it difficult to appreciate the convict’s commitment to settle it.

Justice Boffour disclosed that the court had been informed by a letter written by a lawyer to the Registry that one of the assets listed by the convict to be sold to settle the debt at Prampram, had already been attached to be sold in a different case.

The court was, therefore, not clear about how much it could offer the convict to complete the payment, particularly when there was no assurance of inflow coming from somewhere. Mr. Gyawu responded, saying, the Prampram property was not the only asset they had been listed.


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