Ato Essien, the former CEO of the now-defunct Capital Bank, was given a 15-year jail term with hard labor.
This is in response to his refusal to pay the state the entire amount of GH 90 million that he pledged to pay despite being given many opportunities to do so since December 2022.
For his involvement in the demise of Capital Bank, Ato Essien entered a guilty plea to 16 counts of theft, money laundering, and conspiracy to steal.
According to the contract, Mr. Essien was required to pay Gh90 million, which he did on December 13 by paying Gh30 million cedis.
However, in accordance with Section 35(7) of the Courts Act 459, he reached a plea agreement with the State.
The remaining GH60 million was to be paid by him in three equal installments in 2023: the first GH20 million was due on April 28, the second GH20 million was due on August 31, and the third GH20 million was due on December 15, 2023.
One of the key terms of the agreement was that if he failed to make any of the payment dates, the court would not hesitate to impose a jail sentence.
However, as of April 28, Mr. Essien had not cleared the remaining GH20 million.
On May 2, 2023, the state submitted an application to have the convict (Ato Essien) sentenced to a facility.
However, that application was not considered because Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, the sitting court, ordered Ato Essien around six months to make amends.
However, in addition to the GH30 million already paid, Ato Essien only made a GH7 million payment between January of this year and October 12.
The judge lost all tolerance with GH53 million remaining from the agreed-upon amount and authorized the state to proceed the application.
After hearing the application, the judge sentenced Ato Essien to 15 years in prison.