Former Capital Bank CEO Ato Essien jailed 15 years

Former Capital Bank CEO Ato Essien jailed 15 years

Ato Essien, the former CEO of the now-defunct Capital bank, has been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor due to his failure to fully repay an agreed-upon GH¢90 million to the state, despite multiple extensions provided since December 2022.

In May 2023, the court granted him a two-month period to pay the initial GH¢20 million of the GH¢60 million he owed. However, he could not meet this deadline.

Essien had initially struck a deal with the state in December 2022 under section 35 of the Courts Act to avoid a prison sentence.

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He was required to pay GH¢90 million by the end of 2023, of which he paid GH¢30 million in December 2022 and was supposed to pay the remaining sum in three equal installments throughout 2023.

The first installment was due by the end of April 2023, and failure to pay put him at risk of imprisonment.

By the end of April, he had only paid GH¢6 million out of the GH¢20 million. The state sought a custodial sentence due to this breach in the payment plan.

However, the judge deferred the hearing of the custodial sentence application upon the request of Essien’s lawyers, who claimed to have agreements with a company for property liquidation to cover the debt.

It was later revealed that Essien had only made an additional payment of GH¢2 million, bringing the total for the first installment to GH¢8 million, with a remaining GH¢12 million. Out of the total GH¢90 million debt, Essien had paid only GH¢38 million, leaving a balance of GH¢52 million.

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