Private Legal Practitioner, Martin Kpebu has added his two cents on the viral news on the imprisonment of William Ato Essien, the former CEO of the now-defunct Capital Bank, was given a 15-year prison sentence with hard labor.
Speaking in an exclusive interview on Mpe Ne Mpu on UTV, monitored by InsightNewsgh.com, Martin Kpebu said the decision to sentence Ato Essien to 15year in jail will not benefit Ghanaians.
According to him, instead of sending him to prison, the judge could have sold his house which is worth $10million and settle off the rest of the GH 90 million debt.
He asserted that the effect of the judgement would have been much greater, because he wouldn’t be able to travel outside Ghana and also he won’t be employed in any banking sector.
Kpebu urged Ato Essien to appeal the court’s final judgement and also talk to the Attorney General and see how best they can settle the case, although it’s a challenging process.
However, he was quick to note that the court can’t sell the house if Ato Essien didn’t use money from the collapsed Capital Bank to fund the building.
— UTV Ghana (@utvghana) October 13, 2023
Ato Essien was given a two-month window by the court in May 2023 to pay the first GH20 million of the GH60 million he was ordered to pay in full.
After voluntarily entering into a plea agreement with the state in accordance with section 35 of the Courts Act, Ato Essien was found guilty in December 2022, which is when his legal issues started. This agreement was made to keep him out of jail, but it was conditional on him paying the GH 90 million debt imposed by the court.
The Capital Bank CEO was required by the terms of the agreement to pay the GH90 million debt by the end of 2023. He made an initial payment of GH30 million in December 2022 and was obligated to pay the remaining balance over the course of 2023 in three equal installments.
A custodial sentence could have been imposed if the first payment hadn’t been made by the end of April 2023. Unfortunately, The Capital Bank CEO had only paid GH6 million of the necessary GH20 million by the end of April.
In response to a failure to adhere to the payment plan, the state petitioned the court to impose the custodial sentence.