Senior Vice President of IMANI-Africa, Kofi Bentil

Senior Vice President of IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil, says the judge in the ongoing trial of founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, was well within his powers to accept or reject the settlement deal reached by state prosecutors and Ato Essien.

He made this statement to clarify some uncertainty that had arisen as a result of Justice Eric Kyei Baffour’s pronouncement on Thursday, December 1, 2022.

On JoyNews’ Newsfile, Mr Bentsil told host Samuel Lardy Anyenini that, “Let’s be clear, the judge was right and within his powers to accept or reject the deal that the Attorney General made, and was right to give some sort of reason for it.”

Although he was in agreement with the Judge’s declaration, he added that his only issue was with the process the Judge used in making his statement to the court.

“He opened too many doors,” he explained.

Mr Bentil noted that Section 35 of the Courts Act that the Attorney General was relying on was something that had been suggested by the presiding Judge earlier in the trial.

Again, Kofi Bentil advised the public following the case to hold their peace and avoid passing comments on the case in question since it was a complicated one.

He stated that although people are emotional about the case, the entire details are unknown to the public, and it is only the lawyers and judge involved in it that fully understand what is going on in court.

Background

The terms of settlements negotiated between state prosecutors and William Ato Essien, the founder of Capital Bank, were rejected by the Commercial Division of the Accra High Court on December 1, 2022.

According to the proposed agreement, Mr. Essien had consented to pay a total of GH₵ 90 million: GH₵ 30 million on Thursday and GH₵ 60 million in a settlement with the state that was to be paid in installments.

William Ato Essien, Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, and Tetteh Nettey, a former managing director of MC Management Service, owned by Mr. Essien, were accused of participating in a 23-count conspiracy to steal the GH₵620 million in liquidity support that the Bank of Ghana (BoG) provided to the bank to help it pay off its maturing debt.

The accused opened a number of bank accounts with Capital Bank, according to the prosecution, through which the GH₵620 million BoG liquidity support was transferred, while others were transported in jute bags to Ato Essien.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.