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Ato Essien, 3 others get GH¢675 million bail   
 
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15-Oct-2019  
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Willaim Ato Essien
 
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Owner of defunct Capital Bank, Willaim Ato Essien, two other officials of the bank  and a businesswoman who are standing trial at the Accra High Court have been granted bail in the total sum of Gh₵675million.

Essien, Tettey Nettey and Fitzgerald Odonkor were each granted bail in the sum of Gh₵200 million while Kate Quartey Papafio, the businesswoman was admitted to bail in the sum of Gh₵75million.

The four accused are also supposed to provide four sureties each.

As part of the bail conditions, the court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei -Baffour, also ordered the passports of the accused to be deposited with the court registry.

The four accused were admitted to bail following a bail application by their respective lawyers.

That was after they had pleaded not guilty to various counts of stealing, abetment to stealing, conspiracy to steal and money laundering.

It is the case of the A-G that the three accused persons stole, conspired to steal or laundered more than GH¢220m belonging to the bank.

Prosecution’s facts

Presenting the facts, the Attorney -General (A-G), Ms Gloria Afua Akuffo, said Essien was the majority shareholder of Capital bank, Odonkor was the MD of Capital Bank between 2015 and 2017, Nettey was the Managing Director of MC Management Service, a company owned by Essien while Papafio is a businesswoman and CEO of Reroy Cables Company Limited.

She said between June 2015 and November 2016, the Bank of Ghana gave Gh₵620million as liquidity support to Capital Bank.

According to the A-G, the accused persons with Essien as the kingpin engaged in various religious illegal acts and dissipated the money.

Civil action

In November 2018, the receivers of the collapsed bank, Mr Vish Ashiagbor and Mr Eric Nipah, both of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), instituted a civil action against Essien and 13 shareholders and directors for allegedly engaging in acts that led to the collapse of the bank.

The suit was filed at the Commercial Division of the Accra High Court.

The plaintiffs are seeking to use the legal action to recover over GH¢837 million, being what they said were loans that the shareholders granted to themselves which remained unpaid.

By their alleged actions, the plaintiffs said, the defendants “have breached their fiduciary duties under the Companies Code, 1963 (Act 179) and have caused serious financial loss to the bank’’.

Revocation of licence

On August 14, 201, the licences of the Capital and UT banks were revoked by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) after it had declared them insolvent.

The BoG allowed the state-owned bank, GCB Bank, to acquire the two banks in order to protect depositors’ funds and also enable them to stay afloat.

The hurricane that swept through the banking industry due to the collapse of the two banks further heightened in August 2018 when the central bank collapsed five other indigenous banks and merged them into one entity known as the Consolidated Bank.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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