The founder of the defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien has mounted a strong justification to an amount of GHc27.5M he received as a commission form the GHc620 Liquidity Support given to Capital Bank by the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
Mr Essien (A1), Tetteh Nettey (2rd) and Fitzgerald Odonkor (3rd) have pleaded not guilty to a combined 23 charges including stealing and money laundering and have been granted bail.
They have been accused of misappropriating some GHc130M of the GHc650M given to the bank while Ato Essien is also defending the GHc27.5M he received as commission from that facility.
On the last day of his cross-examination from state prosecutors led by Mrs Evelyn Keelson, a Chief State Attorney, Ato Essien said, he earned the GHc27.5M as a “finders fee” for helping the bank secure that loan.
It was the case of the Chief State Attorney that, there was no board approval for the payment of the 27.5m he received as the so-called finder’s fee.
In his response, he said, “Reference to my witness statement, I had categorically stated that the board duly approved for the payment of the finder’s fee.”
When his attention was drawn to an “exhibit EEEE4” – a statement dated June 6, 2018 that, it is clear from that exhibit that there was no board approval, but Ato Essien insisted it was approved.
“In my earlier statement, I admitted that, I was in receipt of the GHc2.7m which was finder’s investment and same invested in completion of Ocean Spring” he stated.
Reading portions of the said exhibit, he said, “I also paid GHc1m as part of the finders which I have also admitted to refund and I write this statement it is left with 26.5 because this is finder’s there is no need for board approval and the determination of what the money of put into or use for. The practice is for management decisions and captured as such and not for the board to approve.”