Former Capital bank CEO Ato Essien has been sentenced to 15 years in jail with hard labour.
He was imprisoned for failing to pay the state the GH90 million cedis he committed to pay despite many lifelines handed to him since December 2022.
The beleaguered businessman was given a two-month window to pay the first GH20 million of the GH60 million he was supposed to pay in May of this year but was unable to do so.
Ato Essien was convicted in December 2022 on his own plea after striking a deal with the state under section 35 of the Courts Act to avoid a custodial sentence.
He has, however, struggled to meet a GH90 million financial requirement set by the court in lieu of the jail sentence.
According to the agreement, Ato Essien was required to pay GH90 million by the end of 2023, of which he paid GH30 million in December 2022 and was anticipated to pay the remaining in three equal instalments in 2023.
The first tranche was due for payment by the end of April 2023, failing which he faced a prison sentence. However, as of the end of April, the inmate had only paid GH6 million of the GH20 million fine.
The state filed an application with the court to have the jail sentence imposed on him since the conditions of the agreement stipulated that a breakdown of the payment plan result in the imposition of a custodial sentence.
The Judge, Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, however, upon a request by the lawyers of the convict deferred the hearing of the application to impose a custodial sentence.
Ato Essien’s lawyers argued that agreements have been reached with a company for the liquidation of some properties belonging to their client to pay for the debt.
Be however managed to pay of GH¢2 million. This brings the total amount of the first tranche paid to GH¢8 million with a remainder of GH¢12 million.
By the details available, he managed to pay only GH¢38 million leaving a remainder of GH¢52 million.