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Ato Essien fails to meet court deadline

Founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien
Founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien

Lawyers for the founder of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, have failed to comply with a court order to file some documents.

These are documents requesting that he is discharged as they say the state has failed to prove its case against him.

Mr Essien and three others are facing 26 counts of charges including stealing and money laundering for their alleged roles that led to the bank’s collapse.

The state has so far called 17 witnesses. Mr. Essien’s lawyers on April 29 indicated to the court a desire to ask that he is discharged since they believe the witnesses failed to prove the case.

The court asked that all lawyers in the case desirous of making such an application should do so by May 25, 2021.

When the case was called on Thursday, the court was informed that only two of the accused persons were able to file.

Mr Essien’s lawyers said they had been unable to file by the May 25, deadline but had filed on June 9, 2021.

Court of Appeal Judge Eric Kyei Baffuor stated that had it been a matter in a higher court, they could not have just filed without requesting the court’s permission since they had not complied with the order.

Lawyers for another accused person, Dr Tetteh Nettey informed the court that they had personal challenges leading to inability to comply. The court therefore fresh timelines for them to comply.

They are to file the application by June 15 with the state prosecutors directed to respond by June 18.

Justice Kyei Baffuor has indicated he will rule on the matter on July 8,2021.

Should these applications be upheld, the accused persons will walk away as free men. Should it be denied, they will be required to now tell their side of the story.

The accused persons in the case are William Ato Essien, who was a Majority Shareholder of Capital Bank Limited; Tetteh Nettey, Managing Director of MC Management Services, a company established by Essien, and Fitzgerald Odonkor, a former Managing Director of Capital Bank, Kate Quartey Papafio, a businesswoman.

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