The Office of the Attorney General (AG) has filed a motion urging the High Court in Accra to impose a custodial sentence on convicted William Ato Essien after failing to pay his first installment of GHc20 million to the state on April 28 deadline.
Ato Essien, the founder of the defunct Capital Bank on December 13, last year, escaped jail after the court had accepted his agreement with the state to pay GHc60 million on three installments of GHc20 beginning April 28.
This was after he had already paid GHc30 million of the GHc90 million sum after negotiating with the State under Section 35 of the Courts Act, which allows him to pay restitution and escape jail term.
Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, a Justice of the Court of Appeal who presided over that case, ordered him to pay the money in three installments.
The court said, should the convict miss the deadline by an hour, he should be brought to the court for a custodial sentence to be imposed.
Four days after the deadline, the AG said, a search conducted at the Comtroller and Accountant General’s Department indicates that, the convict has not paid any money to the state as per the orders of the court.
The AG per a motion filed at the High Court on Tuesday, May 2, is praying the court to impose a custodial sentence of Ato Essien.
“On 28th April 2023, the applicant (State) wrote to the Controller and Accountant General to ascertain whether as at close of day on the 28th April 2023 the respondent had paid the GHS20,000,000 as contained in the agreement and in fulfillment of the orders of the Court,” the motion filed on Tuesday, May 2 indicated.
It said, “in a response dated 2nd May 2023. the Controller and Accountant General informed the applicant that no such payment had been made by the respondent (copies of the said letters attached herewith and marked as Exhibits AG1 and AG2).
“That having failed to fulfill a condition imposed on him by this Honourable Court under section 35 of the Courts Act, the outstanding amount under the agreement has become due and the respondent is liable to a custodial sentence by the Court,” the AG urges
According to EIB Network’s Legal Affairs Correspondent, Murtala Inusah, the motion would be moved on Thursday, May 11, 2023.