Capital Bank case: Court accepts Ato Essien's GHC 90m restitution deal

Aided by Fitzgerald Odonkor, Ato Essien is alleged to have transferred an amount of GH¢120 million of the BoG's liquidity support to All-Time Capital Limited, an investment management and advisory firm.

Is allowance instantly strangers applauded

The Accra High Court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour has accepted the settlement deal between the state and the founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien. 

Ato Essien, who is standing trial with two others for stealing depositors' funds had last week reached an agreement with the AG’s department to pay an amount of Ghc 90 million as restitution to the state.

According to the document of the agreement that was filed on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, Ato Essien who has also now pleaded guilty, has agreed to pay GHc 30 million on or before December 1, 2022, and the remaining GHc 60 million will be paid within 1 year.

The Court had initially rejected the deal. At its sitting last Friday, the Court noted that the first accused should be made to refund the money at the current exchange rate and also that the case was not applicable under section 35 of the Courts Act, 1993 (Act 459), as parties had argued, since the money the accused persons are alleged to have stolen, does not belong to the state, but rather to the bank and depositors of the bank. 

Section 35 of Act 459 allows an accused person standing trial for causing financial loss to the state to pay compensation or restitution and possibly avoid a custodial sentence. 

In court today, December 13, 2022, Deputy Attorney-General, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah argued that the case did indeed fall under section 35 of Act 459 because state funds were disbursed to pay depositors when the Bank went into receivership. 

The Court was also informed that the state had already recovered Ghc101.2 million of the total sum of GH¢192.5 million which the accused persons have been charged for. Ato Essien is also said to have already paid GHC30 million of the 90 million restitution. 

“During investigation, it came out that another amount totalling GH¢35 million was used to acquire shares in Capital Bank. This GH¢35 million was realized to be part of the GH¢192.5 million, therefore the share acquisition was reversed and the money was retained by Capital Bank. The total amount from these two transactions is GH¢100 million. Therefore, the outstanding amount out of the GH¢192.5 million stands at GH¢92 million,” Deputy AG, Alfred Tuah-Yeboah said.

The Court, therefore, accepted the agreement pursuant to section 35 of the Courts Act, 1993 (Act 459).

“Having listened to the Deputy AG that with the revocation of the license of Capital Bank and that the state has made huge payments to depositors and the monies are huge loss to the state, I am prepared to accept the agreement under Section 35.

“The first accused indicates that he is unable to increase the total amount to be paid as reparation and restitution. Further rejection of the agreement may overreach the first accused pursuant to the agreement reached. I will therefore accept the agreement," Justice Kyei Baffour said. 


Capital Bank was one of the first banks to fold up during the start of the financial sector clean-up by the Bank of Ghana in 2017. 

State Prosecutors have accused the Founder of the bank, William Ato Essien, of causing the insolvency of the bank by stealing about GH¢200 million of a GH¢620 million liquidity support given to the bank by the Bank of Ghana (BoG).

Aided by Fitzgerald Odonkor , Ato Essien is alleged to have transferred an amount of GH¢120 million of the liquidity support to All Time Capital Limited, an investment management and advisory firm.

Dr. Nettey is also being accused of assisting the two officials of the collapsed bank to dishonestly withdraw GH¢130 million of the bank’s funds to set up Sovereign Bank.

Ato Essien was originally charged with eight counts of stealing, eight counts of money laundering, and three counts of conspiracy to steal, making it a total of 19 counts.

But, Ato Essien who was also accused of same offences with Kate Quartey-Papafio was also acquitted and discharged on three counts of the charges, which means they are left with 16 counts against him.

Tetteh Nettey, who was the MD of Management Services faces two counts of stealing, two counts of money laundering and two counts of conspiracy to steal, making his a total of 6 counts.

Managing Director of the Bank, Fitzgerald Odonkor, on the other hand, is charged with seven counts of abetment of crime, namely stealing.

The state estimates that the accused persons have misappropriated GHC 262,500,000.00.