A private legal practitioner, Lawyer Tachie Antiedu, has reacted to the 15-year jail time given to the former Chief Executive Officer of the defunct capital bank for stealing.
Ato Essien was sentenced on October 12, 2023, after failing to fully repay an amount of GH¢90 million, as per the terms of a plea bargain agreement he made with the state.
The judgment delivered by an Accra High Court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour has trended on various media platforms since Thursday, October 12, 2023.
Reacting to the news in an interview with Rainbow Radio, lawyer Takyi Antiedu said Ato Essien should have been given time to pay back the money because Ghana will benefit more from retrieving the money than from his serving jail term.
“It was money given to him to revive the bank, but it seems he embezzled some, and he pleaded guilty to that charge in court. The sole aim of a criminal proceeding is to punish the offender, but in this case, Ghana needed the money back more than punishing him. Because we will get more benefit from getting the money back, so that is why the money issue came in.”
“Because that is not how we treat criminal cases like murder. This was not money he owed customers, but money given to him by the state to revive the bank. This is a criminal action and not a civil action, and this is different from the Woyome case because the state pursued a civil action against him and not a criminal action, but in my opinion, I would have wished we gave him some time to pay since we needed the money more than his sentence,” he added.
By: Joel Eshun/Rainbowradioonline.com/Ghana