According to the front page of the Daily Guide newspaper on May 11, 2023, William Ato Essien, the former CEO of Capital Bank, has made a payment of GH¢4 million to the state. This payment represents 20% of the GH¢20 million he had agreed to pay per the terms of a plea bargain agreement.
Last week, the Attorney-General filed a motion requesting the Accra High Court to impose a custodial sentence on Essien for failing to pay the GH¢20 million as agreed. However, Essien’s payment of GH¢4 million may allow him to avoid jail time for the time being.
Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, presiding over an Accra High Court, had ordered Essien in December 2023 to pay GH¢20 million to the state by April 28, 2023. Essien narrowly avoided a custodial sentence previously when his lawyers agreed with the Office of the Attorney General to pay GH¢60 million in three installments. During the trial, Essien had already paid GH¢30 million out of the GH¢90 million he agreed to pay.
The Attorney-General’s motion was prompted by Essien’s failure to remit the GH¢20 million to the state by the April 28 deadline. The AG had written to the Controller and Accountant General to inquire whether Essien had made any payment in compliance with the court order. The Controller and Accountant General confirmed that Essien had not made any payments as of the time of the inquiry