Ato Essien has escaped jail term but still can’t hold public office. Renowned private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu, has said that even though the founder of the defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien, has escaped jail term, he cannot hold public office or any top-level position like a managing director (MD) of a bank.
Ato Essien was convicted after he pleaded guilty to charges of misappropriation of depositors’ funds and other counts of stealing, abetment to stealing, conspiracy to steal and money laundering among others.
This was after the court accepted the terms of agreement reached between lawyers of Mr. Essien and the prosecution to pay a total of GH¢90 million as refund to the state.
Ato Essien was accused of stealing GH¢620 million liquidity support given to his bank by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) which he transferred using various bank accounts.
Reacting to the ruling of the court, Martin Kpebu, indicated that the court’s ruling is not as light as many are saying.
He said that Ato Essien is now a convict and per the laws of Ghana, he can neither be a managing director of a bank or hold any public office.
“He cannot be a minister of state, he can’t be a managing director of any bank, Ghanaians if you see him that way there is red flag,” he said.
He added that Ato Essien will also have to face the embarrassment of indicating he is a convict anytime he has to travel abroad.
“In filling the travel forms there is a portion that says, ‘have you been convicted of felony?’ Yes, stealing is felony,” he said.
Ato Essien has escaped jail term but still can’t hold public office