Ato Essien is very greedy -Judge claims

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The judge who sentenced top banking executive Ato Essien to 15 years in prison with hard labour, Justice Eric Kyei Baffour said the former Capital Bank boss had exhibited “sheer greed”. Justice Kyei Baffour on Thursday, October 12 2023, sentenced the former Capital Bank chief to 15 years in prison with hard labour after he failed to pay the GH¢90 million back to the state.

His sentencing means he has been the only key figure to be sentenced in the aftermath of the 2017 financial sector cleanup that saw the collapse of several banks and other financial institutions. Capital Bank (previously First Plus Capital Bank) was part of the number of banks taken over by state giant, GCB Bank as part of the cleanup process.

The bank’s founder, William Ato Essien and two others, Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor and Tetteh Nettey were alleged to have conspired to steal from the GH¢620 million liquidity support given to Capital Bank by the central bank. However, Rev. Odonkor and Tetteh Nettey were later acquitted and discharged by the court.

According to Justice Kyei Baffour, “The convict demonstrated sheer greed in his desire to own another bank besides Capital Bank Ltd and left no stone unturned through subterfuge and deceit with pure criminal intent to set up Sovereign Bank Ltd.”

Adding, “Being in a position of trust, he was expected to have demonstrated a sense of responsibility and true fidelity. He had no cause, whatsoever, to steal such gargantuan sums of money.”

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