The Accra High Court has given another lifeline to the convicted Founder of the Capital Bank, William Ato Essien by extending the payment of GH¢20million restitution to the state to July 27, 2023.
The GH¢20 million represents the first tranche of a total of 60 million expected to be paid to the state.
The court, presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, decided to adjourn the case again to enable Essien, who has paid only GHC 8 million so far to settle the outstanding GH¢12 million.
“Based on the pleas of his counsel, I once again reluctantly give the convict one more opportunity to make payment.
“If by that date, that money has been redeemed, the court may favourably consider the outstanding amount to be paid,” the presiding judge said.
Essien who was convicted for stealing over GH¢90million of Bank of Ghana’s liquidity support to the Capital was supposed to have paid 20 million of the 60million restitution by April 28 this year and pay the rest by the end December this year.
Failure to pay the amount per the agreed terms will lead to the court jailing Essien.
Essien failed to pay the GH¢20million by the April 28 deadline and rather paid GH¢8 million so far.
In court today (July 4), Essien lawyer, Baffour Gyau Bonsu Ashia, told the Court that Essien and Swiss International Holdings had entered into an agreement to dispose of some of his client’s properties in a bid to pay back the money.
He added that his client was expecting an amount of $300,000 by end of July 2023.
Mr Ashia further noted that the money could be easily retrieved if Essien’s passport was released to him to bring funds from outside the jurisdiction to help pay back the money, praying for an extra 3 months lifeline.
But that was turned down by the presiding judge on grounds Essien’s current agreement with the state emanated from a criminal trial adding that he does not have the liberty to release the passport
He further urged Essien not to regard the adjournment as a freedom adding: “It’s just a little space for you to mobilise the funds by July 27”.