The High Court in Accra has directed William Ato Essien, the founder and CEO of the defunct Capital Bank, to open his defence in the case brought against him for his alleged role in the collapse of the bank.
Mr. Essien and three other former top executives of the collapsed entity; Fitzgerald Odonkor, Tetteh Nettey and Kate Quartey-Papafio, have been charged with 26 counts of criminal offences, including stealing and defrauding by false pretences, for their respective roles in the collapse of the bank.
However, the court, at its sitting on Thursday, July 8, 2021, acquitted Kate Quartey-Papafio, describing her as only having acted “childishly” and not criminally.
Kate Quartey-Papafio, who is the Chief Executive of Reroy Cables Limited, was charged with conspiracy to steal, stealing and laundering of stolen money. But Justice Eric Kyei Baffour in a ruling of a submission of no case on Thursday, July 8, 2021, described her role in the events leading up to the collapse of Capital Bank as childish.
The learned Judge said as a businesswoman, she did not exercise her business acumen in relation to her dealings.
Per the court’s ruling, William Ato Essien, the 1st Accused person in the trial, also stands acquitted and discharged on counts 24, 25 and 26 of the charges, as such will not be answering to them in his defence.
Last year, the court gave Ato Essien the chance to negotiate with the State on charges brought against him for his involvement or otherwise in the collapse of the bank.
Mr. Essien in May 2020 told the Court presided over Justice of the Court of Appeal, Eric Kyei Baffour sitting as an additional High Court Judge, that he was willing to refund GHS27.5 million, which he is being accused of using for business promotion, in order for the charges against him to be dropped.
His lawyer, Baffuor Gyewu Bonsu, told the Court in May that GHS 1.4 million of the amount had already been paid.
A Chief State Attorney, Marina Appiah Oppong said the negotiations failed.
She said Mr. Essien presented a first proposal that was unsatisfactory, as such, it was turned down.
She said a second proposal had already been responded to by the State, which response was yet to be served on the Defence Counsel.