William Ato Essien, the founder of the now-defunct Capital Bank, was sentenced to 15 years in prison by the Accra High Court for embezzling more than GH₵90 million from the bank.
After being found guilty in December of last year of stealing over GH₵90 million from Capital Bank, Essien was spared a jail term after the Attorney-General (A-G) and Essien reached a settlement in which Essien agreed to repay the state GH₵90 million.
The court, chaired by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, decided this afternoon that Essien has not fulfilled his agreement with the A-G to pay compensation to the state.
The arrangement was made in accordance with Section 35 of the Courts Act, 1993 (Act 459), which permits defendants who are awaiting trial for financial loss to the state to make the payment in order to perhaps avoid going to jail.
According to the agreement the court adopted, Essien paid GH₵30 million of the total on December 1, 2022. He was then directed to pay the remaining GH₵60 million in three installments, with the first due by April 28, 2023, the second by August 31, 2023, and the final installment due by December 15, 2023.
The entire amount paid to date is GH₵37 million out of GH₵90 million, according to Justice Kyei Baffour, who stated that as of today, Essien has only paid GH₵7 million out of a possible GH40 million, missing the deadlines for April 28 and August 31 of this year.
However, Essien’s release was contingent upon paying the remaining GH₵53 million to the state as reparation and restitution, according to Justice Kyei Baffour’s ruling.