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Ato Essien faces court today after failing to pay GH₵20m to the state

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Founder of the defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien is expected to appear before the High Court in Accra today after the Office of the Attorney General (AG) filed a motion urging the High Court in Accra to impose a custodial sentence on him.

This was after the convicted, Ato Essien is said to have failed to pay his first installment of GHc20 million to the State by the April 28 deadline ordered him by the court.

On December 13, last year, Mr Ato Essien, escaped jail after the court had accepted his agreement with the State to pay GHc90 under Section 35 of the Courts Act, which allows an accused to plead guilty and allowed to pay restitution and escape jail term.

Before the court’s judgement, he had paid GHc30 million of the GHc90 million. It was the balance of the GHc60 million sum that the court ordered him to pay in three installments with the first to be made on or before April 28.

Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, a Justice of the Court of Appeal, who presided over that case as an additional High Court judge, ordered him to pay the money in three installments.

The court said, should the convict miss the any of the deadline by an hour, he should be brought to the court for a custodial sentence to be imposed.

AG’s motion

On May 2, four days after the deadline, the AG said, a search conducted at the Controller General’s Department indicates that, the convict has not paid any money to the State as per the orders of the court.

The AG per a motion filed at the High Court on Tuesday, May 2, is praying the court to impose a custodial sentence of Ato Essien.

“On 28th April 2023, the applicant (State) wrote to the Controller and Accountant General to ascertain whether as at close of day on the 28th April 2023 the respondent had paid the GHS20,000,000 as contained in the agreement and in fulfillment of the orders of the Court,” the motion filed on Tuesday, May 2 indicated.

It said, “in a response dated 2nd May 2023. the Controller and Accountant General informed the applicant that no such payment had been made by the respondent (copies of the said letters attached herewith and marked as Exhibits AG1 and AG2).

“That having failed to fulfill a condition imposed on him by this Honourable Court under section 35 of the Courts Act, the outstanding amount under the agreement has become due and the respondent is liable to a custodial sentence by the Court,” the AG urges.

EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, gathered that, even though Mr Ato Essien has not paid the full GHc20M as the first installment, he is said to have paid about GHc4M of it.

Source: Ghana/

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