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Ato Essien dishonestly took GH¢130 million to set up another bank – Prosecutor

William Ato Essien, founder of defunct Capital Bank

Fri, 1 Apr 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Capital Bank was collapsed by BoG

William Ato Essien is standing trial

Chief State Attorney says Essien dishonestly took money to set up another bank


Evelyn Keelson, the Chief State Attorney, has stated that William Ato Essien, the founder of the defunct Capital Bank as well as Dr. Tetteh Nettey, a businessman dishonestly took GH¢130 million from Capital Bank to set up another bank.

According to her in a Joy News reportage, the bank in question was the defunct Sovereign Bank.

The two [Ato Essien and Tetteh Nettey] conspired together with former Managing Director of Capital Bank Fitzgerald Odorkor to execute that agenda. ,

Ato Essien and Tetteh Nettey have been slapped with 26 charges, including stealing various sums above GH¢260 million.

Their action, the Chief State Attorney alleged led to the collapse of the bank.

Some documents filed in court by the state between June 2015 and November 2016, showed that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) provided a total sum of GH¢620 million as liquidity support to Capital Bank to meet its capital adequacy ratio and service its maturing debt obligations.

In October 2015, Essien is alleged to have been aided by Fitzgerald Odonkor to transfer a sum of GHC120 million of the liquidity support amount to All Time Capital Limited (All Time), an investment management and advisory firm.

The documents also named three individuals, who are said to have caused the transfer of GH¢100 million of the GH¢120million to MC Management Services, a company that had Nettey as its Managing Director.

The remaining GH¢20 million the BoG documents explained have been transferred to Pronto Construction and Supplies Limited (Pronto Construction).

“The total amount of ¢130 million, which was represented as initial capital of Sovereign Bank, was eventually channeled by the 1st and 2nd accused persons into Capital Africa Group, the first accused person’s company, less bank charges.

“The monies transferred into Capital Africa Group was eventually dissipated by the 1st and 2nd accused persons.”

In [a] cross-examination on Thursday, March 31; Evelyn Keelson accused Dr Tetteh Nettey of being part of the plot to dishonestly take money from Capital bank to set up another bank.

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“I am putting it to you that, together with the first accused person (Mr Essien), you dishonestly took a total of GH¢130 million from Capital Bank and used same as stated capital for Sovereign Bank,” she stated.

But Dr Nettey disagreed and explained:

“I did not, together with the first accused, take 4130 million from Capital Bank as seed capital for Sovereign Bank. The shareholders of Sovereign Bank told me and took steps to prove to me that the monies were theirs.

“And like I said, the first sets of monies that came to Mc management came in the form of cheques and bank swifts from Nordia Capital through Ecobank. And there was no way of knowing the monies were from Capital Bank."

Mrs Keelson further insisted that Dr Nettey was well aware that the said shareholders, including himself, did not provide any money to set up Sovereign Bank.

She stated that documents made available to the court clearly showed that Dr Nettey was in the know about these transactions.

Dr Nettey further disagreed and noted he did not provide any money as a shareholder in his case because he held shares on behalf of Mr Essien.

He explained further that he and Mr Essien signed documents confirming that he held the shares on his behalf.

He concluded that despite demanding copies of these documents from Mr Essien on many occasions, he never received his copy.

Trial Judge Eric Kyei Baffuor had some questions.

“You did say that you held the shares in Sovereign Bank as a Trustee for A1 and that you signed some agreement and you were not given the papers.

“You don’t think this was material enough that when he was in the box, you should have confronted him. Because as matters stand, don’t you think it will be your word against it?

“I have proof that I asked for it severally. I signed it in his office. His personal assistant at the time was Prince Aggrey, and he gave them to him to run copies, and I did not see them again”.

The case has been adjourned to April 7, 2022.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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