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Business News Thu, 17 Oct 2019

Special investigators put on Ato Essien and co case

Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Akuffo has revealed that due to the high interest the public has in the banking sector crisis, special investigators have been assigned to the various cases.

According to her, the office has interest in ensuring that these cases are treated “expeditiously”.

The minister was speaking to the media after she officially charged four former directors of the defunct Capital Bank with 26 charges including stealing.

Founder of the collapsed bank William Ato Essien, its Managing Director, Fitzgerald Odonkor, CEO Tettey Nettey and CEO of Reroy Cables, Kate Quartey-Papafio have pleaded not guilty and have been granted bail.

Madam Gloria Akuffo told journalists on Tuesday, “For the sake of expedition, my office is very concern that these matters be dealt with expeditiously because of the public interest.”

She was specific that the monies the accused were alleged to have misappropriated belonged to the state and was advanced to the bank and not the managers.

The Attorney General described Ato Essien and colleagues’ case as not being a matter of “a simply stealing” like someone stealing a vault.

She cited the complicity of their modus operandi, noting it was a “transaction over a period”, which therefore demands special attention to unravel the case.

“A special investigative team, dedicated to investigating the banking [sector] are working on them.” Madam Gloria Akuffo revealed.

Reiterating the fact that the liquidity support was given to the then Capital Bank and not its managers, she stressed, “if they used it in a manner which is not consistent with the purpose for which the bank has come for the money, then certainly there must be a problem”.

But Dominic Ayine, counsel for the fourth accused, Kate Quartey-Papafio, challenged the sense in charging the accused persons with stealing.

“When I have taken your property with your own consent, I cannot be accused of stealing,” he argued.

Facts

Presenting the facts of the matter to the presiding judge Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, Madam Akuffo told the court that the liquidity support of 620 million cedis handed over to revive Capital bank by the Bank of Ghana was appropriated and transferred to various companies owned by Ato Essien.

According to the Attorney General, the liquidity support was also presented by M.C Management Services owned by Ato Essien as initial capital to get a banking license for the defunct Sovereign Bank.

She added, an amount of 70 million cedis was deposited into private account of one of the accused, Kate

Quartey-Papafio, where she created an account at Capital Bank and transferred the amount into that account.

She said Kate Papafio then attempted to withdraw the money but was blocked.

Justice Kyei Baffour granted bail to William Ato Essien, Fitzgerald Odonkor and Tettey Nettey a sum of 200 million cedis with 4 sureties.

The fourth accused, Kate Quartey-Papafio was also granted bail of 75 million cedis with two sureties.

Justice Kyei Baffour ordered prosecution to give all documents and records they will rely on as evidence to lawyers of the accused.

The case has been adjourned to November 18.

Source: 3news.com
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