Ato Essien Given Condition To Avoid 15-Year Jail Term, Must Pay Back GH¢53 Million

Ato Essien Given Condition To Avoid 15-Year Jail Term, Must Pay Back GH¢53 Million

  • The Former CEO of the now-defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, has been given condition to regain his freedom
  • Ato Essien is required to pay back an outstanding GH¢53 million to avoid serving his full 15-year jail term
  • Ato Essien was convicted of stealing GH¢90 million of Bank of Ghana’s monetary support for his bank

William Ato Essien, the founder of the defunct Capital Bank jailed for 15 years, may be able to walk free if he can settle his debt to the state.

Ato Essien will regain his freedom if he pays back a balance of GH¢53 million.

William Ato Essien jailed
William Ato Essien was jailed for 15 years with hard labour (L). Source: YouTube/@Paul Adom-Otchere
Source: Getty Images

The former CEO was sentenced on Thursday, October 12, 2023, by Justice Eric Kyei Baffour.

Baffour condemned Ato Essien for exhibiting “sheer greed” in the build-up to the collapse of his bank.

Read also

Parliament approves amendments to anti-gay bill, proposes new jail term for allies of LGBTQ community

Ato Essien was convicted of stealing over GH¢90 million of Bank of Ghana’s liquidity support to his collapsed bank.

This made him the first banking executive to receive jail time following the massive banking sector clean-up in 2017.

Ato Essien pleads guilty to charges

A criminal case was filed against Ato Essien following the collapse of the Capital Bank, which he founded.

Ato Essien pleaded guilty to charges brought against him by the state in the events leading to the collapse.

He pleaded guilty to charges of misappropriation of funds deposited at the bank by thousands of clients and also to stealing, abetment to theft, conspiracy to steal and money laundering, among other charges.

During the case, Ato Essien had tried to challenge the revocation of Capital Bank's operating licence by the Bank of Ghana.

Read also

Ghanaian actrobat celebrates as he sets two new Guinness World Records, flaunts plaques in post

Severance payments for former Capital Bank staff reported previously that the Bank of Ghana approved the payment of severance packages for former workers of the defunct Capital Bank.

This comes months after the former employees began agitating for their severance packages after they lost their jobs.

GCB Bank took over the operations of Capital Bank in August 2017.


Delali Adogla-Bessa avatar

Delali Adogla-Bessa (Current Affairs Editor) Delali Adogla-Bessa is a Current Affairs Editor with Delali previously worked as a freelance journalist in Ghana and has over seven years of experience in media, primarily with Citi FM, Equal Times, Ubuntu Times. Delali also volunteers with the Ghana Institute of Language Literacy and Bible Translation, where he documents efforts to preserve local languages. He graduated from the University of Ghana in 2014 with a BA in Information Studies. Email: