Ex-Capital Bank Boss Punches Ato Essien


Ato Essien

The former Managing Director of defunct Capital Bank, Rev. Fitzgerald Odonkor, yesterday indicated that the bank at no point in time issued a GH₵130 million commercial paper in favour of MC Management Services in 2015.

This sharply contradicts the testimony of founder and Chief Executive Officer of the bank, William Ato Essien, who testified that Capital Bank in October 2015, acting through its directors, caused a commercial paper totalling GH₵130 million to be issued to All Time Capital Limited at the bank’s agreed interest rate for the period of the commercial paper.

“The investment as made by All Time Capital, I would say is clearly in tandem with practice of All Time Capital as an investment company, and the said monies received by MC Management Limited, was for the purpose of MC Management’s business,” Mr. Essien indicated.

Rev. Odonkor, who is standing trial alongside Mr. Essien, was responding to a question by Marina Appiah Opare, a Chief State Attorney that a total GH₵100 million placement made at All Time Capital and another GH₵30 million placed at Nordea Capital were transferred to MC Management Services Limited to purchase a commercial paper.

In the case of the placement at All Time Capital, the prosecutor said the GH₵100 million placed in two tranches of GH₵60 million on October 2, 2015, and another GH₵40 million on October 9, 2015, were within the same month transferred to MC Management Services to purchase a commercial paper.

But the accused said, “Capital Bank did not at any time issue any commercial paper in favour of MC Management Services.”

The prosecutor further put it to the accused that the GH₵30 million placed at Nordea Capital in two tranches of GH₵15 million which was to last for 91 days was also within a week transferred to MC Management Services Limited to purchase a commercial paper based on the instruction of Rev. Odonkor as the Managing Director.

“My Lord, I deny emphatically that I signed any commercial paper on behalf of the bank in favour of MC Management. I do not know MC Management and further investigations reveal that that signature was not my signature,” the accused claimed.

He further told the court that, “My Lord, I deny this emphatically. The bank has absolutely no hand in the issuance of commercial paper to any third party.”

His response, however, contradicts that of Mr. Essien who said the bank purchased the commercial papers and all the memos sanctioning the transfer of funds from the bank to All Time Capital, adding these were generated by the bank’s treasury and minuted upon by the respective officials of the bank, who were charged with the mandate to sanction such transfers or financial arrangements.

Mrs. Opare then put it to Rev. Odonkor that the monies placed with All Time Capital were not approved by the board of the defunct bank, pointing out for instance that the memo requesting approval of the board for the transfers were signed by the Vice Chairman of the board and Ato Essien, who is member of the board, long after the monies had been transferred to All Time Capital.

The accused insisted that the fund transfers were approved by the board since the Vice Chairman and Ato Essien were acting on behalf of the board.

The prosecution further put it to Rev. Odonkor that he as the then Managing Director gave approval for GH₵27.5 million to be paid to Ato Essien as business promotion for allegedly arranging the GH₵620 million the Bank of Ghana gave to Capital Bank as liquidity support.

Although Rev. Odonkor stated in his caution and charge statement to the police that he gave approval for the payment of the money, he told the court yesterday that the payment was made with the approval of the board.

Again, he confirmed to the court that Ato Essien made a verbal request for the payment of the business promotion and the board chairman gave him (Rev. Odonkor) the approval on the phone.


BY Gibril Abdul Razak