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Capital Bank scandal: I can refund GH¢130m out of GH¢620m – Ato Essien tells court

The founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, has offered to refund another GH¢130m million, out of the GH¢620 million bailout money he allegedly stole from the bank which led to its insolvency and a subsequent government takeover.

This was disclosed on Thursday, January 13 by the lawyer of Ato Essien during the hearing of his trial.

Ato Essien is standing trial with two others for allegedly collapsing Capital Bank by dissipating a GH¢620-million liquidity support given to the bank by the Bank of Ghana (BoG).

The prosecution has accused the three people of engaging in various illegal acts that led to the dissipation of the GH¢620-million liquidity support given to Capital Bank by the BoG between June 2015 and November 2016.

According to the DailyGuide report, Ato Essien, in a bid to moderate the charges, offered to refund some monies.

The prosecution indicated that the accused person earlier chose to refund GH¢27.5 million he had carried in a jute bag commonly known as “Ghana Must GO” to the state.

Even though the prosecution is yet to accept the proposal of payment of the GH¢27.5 million Ato Essien has further revealed his intention to pay an additional GH¢130million.

The counsel, Baffour Gyan Bonsu, who held the brief for Thadeus Sory, counsel for Ato Essien said they are negotiating with the Attorney on how to make a refund.

“Unlike the initial prayer where we made an appeal to this court to pay the GH¢27.5 million which forms the basis of some of the charges, we have also included GH¢130 million that also forms part of the charges,” he said, adding “the discussion has been very fruitful to the extent that the prosecution has written to us dated December 30, 2021, where the prosecution has made its stance very clear,” Counsel Gyan Bonsu said.

He however added that “the only difficulty between us as defense counsel and the prosecution is the quantum which can easily be resolved by an independent auditor”.

In response to the above, the presiding Judge Kyei Baffour “requested the said the letter from the Attorney and upon perusing it, he said the content of the letter looks like an 80 percent rejection from the prosecution”.

“He said the prosecution seems to disagree with the amount involved, the terms of payment and the amount to pay as reparation, but the parties could continue negotiations and if they are able to strike a deal finally, they would inform the court,” DailyGuide reported.

The judge added that the trial will however continue its normal course while both parties continue to negotiate. He indicated that should they fail to reach a negotiation, he will hold on to the judgment until they reach an amicable agreement.

He also said if they reach an agreement and decide not to pursue the case any longer, he as a “servant of the law” will have nothing to do about it.

 

Source: Ghanaweb.com|Ghana

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