Prosecuted Founder and Chief Executive of defunct Capital Bank, William Ato Essien has filed a notice of appeal against the dismissal of his submission of no case made two weeks ago.
Subsequently, lawyers for Mr. Ato Essien have requested the High Court (Commercial 7 Division) to stay proceedings pending the determination of the appeal.
Mr. Ato Essien’s submission of no case was dismissed two weeks ago with an invitation to open his defence in criminal charges of conspiracy to steal, stealing and money laundering.
He was thus expected to open his defence today, Thursday, July 22, 2021, but his lawyers instead filed a motion for stay of proceedings to urge the court to stay the hearings while he pursues this interlocutory appeal.
Justice Eric Kyei Baffour of the Court of Appeal, who is sitting as an additional High Court Judge, consequently adjourned proceedings to July 29, 2021, when he will hear the motion to stay proceedings.
“In view of the motion filed by counsel for the 1st accused, for a stay of proceedings on Thursday morning and slated to be moved on the 29th of July 2021, I will adjourn the suit to the said date,” the judge said.
Justice Eric Kyei Baffour in a ruling of a submission of no case earlier this month acquitted and discharged Kate Quartey-Papafio, who is the Chief Executive of Reroy Cables Limited. She had been charged with conspiracy to steal, stealing and laundering of stolen money, but the court described her role in the events leading up to the collapse of Capital Bank as childish.
The court however directed William Ato Essien, the founder and CEO of the defunct Capital Bank, to open his defence in the case.
Last year, the court gave Ato Essien the chance to negotiate with the State on charges brought against him for his involvement or otherwise in the collapse of the bank.
Mr. Essien in May 2020 told the Court presided over Justice of the Court of Appeal, Eric Kyei Baffour sitting as an additional High Court Judge, that he was willing to refund GHS27.5 million, which he is being accused of using for business promotion, in order for the charges against him to be dropped.
His lawyer, Baffuor Gyewu Bonsu, told the Court in May that GHS 1.4 million of the amount had already been paid.
A Chief State Attorney, Marina Appiah Oppong said the negotiations failed.
She said Mr. Essien presented a first proposal that was unsatisfactory, as such, it was turned down.
She said a second proposal had already been responded to by the State, which response was yet to be served on the Defence Counsel.