Business News

Ato Essien Granted Opportunity to Liquidate Assets and Settle GH¢55m Debt

William Ato Essien, the founder of the defunct Capital Bank, has been granted an extension by the Accra High Court to liquidate his assets and pay the state ¢55 million by June 4. The presiding judge, Justice Eric Kyei Baffuor, allowed the extension to give Essien an opportunity to fulfill his financial obligations as agreed upon with the republic. Consequently, the deputy Attorney General’s application to imprison Ato Forson for failing to pay GH¢20 million by April 28, 2023, was not entertained.

The judge expressed his desire to provide Essien with a chance to repay the outstanding amount and urged him to make every effort to secure the funds. He acknowledged Essien’s efforts to liquidate assets in Essien Swiss International Holdings, a company in which he is the sole shareholder, and noted that if the claims made in Essien’s affidavit were genuine, time would vindicate him. The judge decided to adjourn the case to July 4, 2023, to allow Essien to settle the remaining balance according to the agreement reached with the state.

Earlier, the high court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, had scheduled May 17 as the date for deciding on the Attorney General’s application to impose a custodial sentence on William Ato Essien for his failure to comply with the payment terms agreed upon with the state. This followed the court’s dismissal of Ato Essien’s application to renegotiate with the Attorney General.

Ato Essien had violated the terms of an agreement that allowed him to avoid imprisonment by committing to refund ¢90 million to the state. Unfortunately, he missed the payment deadline of April 28, 2023, after initially paying ¢34 million.

Due to his failure to meet the payment deadline, the Attorney General determined that seeking a custodial sentence from the court was the only recourse.

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