Former Chief Executive Officer of defunct Capital Bank, Ato Essien has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour.
This follows his failure to pay in full an amount of GH¢90 million he agreed to pay the state despite several lifelines given him since December 2022.
Ato Essien pleaded guilty to 16 counts of stealing, money laundering and conspiracy to steal for his role in the collapse of Capital Bank.
He however entered a plea bargain with the state under section 35(7) of the courts ACT 459.
Under the agreement, Mr. Essien was expected to pay GH¢90 million for which he paid GH¢30 million cedis on December 13.
He was to pay the GH¢60 million remainder in three equal instalments in 2023; GH¢20 million by April 28, another GH¢20 million by August 31 and the last GH¢20 million by December 15, 2023.
A major condition of the agreement was that the court would not hesitate to impose a custodial sentence if he missed any of the payment deadlines.
But as of April 28, Mr. Essien had not paid all the GH¢20 million due to be settled.
The state filed an application on May 2, 2023, to get a custodial sentence imposed on the convict (Ato Essien).
But that application was not heard as the presiding judge, Justice Eric Kyei Baffour gave him (Ato Essien) about six months to redeem himself.
But between January this year to October 12, Ato Essien has only paid GH¢7 million in addition to the GH¢30 million previously paid.
With GH¢53 million of the agreed sum outstanding, the judge having exhausted his patience allowed the state to move the application.
The judge upon hearing the application jailed Ato Essien to spend 15 years in prison.
Source: Ghana Business