High Court to rule on no case submission by Essien, others on July 8

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    A “no-case” application filed by the founder of now-defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, and some three other persons will be heard on July 8, this year. The Accra High Court would deliver its judgment on the said application filed by Mr. Essien and the other three persons who stand accused of contributing to the bank’s collapse by illegally withdrawing depositors’ monies.

    Lawyers for the accused told the court that they would file an application to the court for the discharge of their clients, through a submission of “no case”, under Section 173 of the Criminal and Other Offences (Procedure) Act, 1960 (Act 30).

    The three other accused persons in this instance are; the former MD of Capital Bank, Fitzgerald Odonkor; MD of MC Management Services (allegedly owned by Mr. Essien), Tettey Nettey; Kate Quartey-Papafio, a businesswoman.

    All four persons have pleaded not guilty to the charges of stealing, abetment to steal, conspiracy to steal, and money laundering. The State has accused them of playing significant roles in the loss of the GH¢620m liquidity received by the Bank as support from the Bank of Ghana between June 2015 and November 2016.

    The state prosection further avers that Mr. Essien, receiving support from Mr. Odonkor transferred the liquidity support to other companies in which he had a controlling interest.

    Of the said amount, about GH¢ 130m was transferred to MC Management Services and subsequently presented fraudulently to the Central Bank as base/initial capital for the establishment of the Sovereign Bank, another such bank in which Mr. Essien had an interest.

    Between June and October 2015, a total of GH¢27.5m was misappropriated by Essien and Odonkor, by carrying it in jute bags, the state has further alleged.

    Mr. Quartey-Papafio stands accused for his role in helping Mr. Essien to transfer GH¢70m of the liquidity support into his Calbank account.

    The Central Bank subsequently revoked the license of Capital Bank, the first of several such acts that were taken in a major shake-down and cleanup of the financial sector in 2017. Capital Bank and UT Bank were eventually declared insolvent and their assets were seized and taken over by GCB Bank, in a bid to protect depositors’ funds.