I didn’t help Ato Essien take money from Capital Bank – Former MD

Former Chief Executive (MD) of defunct Capital Bank, Reverend Fitzgerald Odonkor, told Accra High Court that he did not help the institution’s founder William Ato Essien withdraw from bank money.

“I say that I did not encourage the 1st defendant to take the money from Capital Bank as alleged, I only acted as an employee of Capital Bank who carries out the decisions of the Board to the best of my ability”, did he declare.

Reverend Odonkor, along with the bank’s founder, William Ato Essien, and businessman, Dr Tetteh Nettey, have been charged with 26 counts, including theft of various sums worth more than 260 million yen.

State prosecutors allege that between June 2015 and October 2016, William Ato Essien, with the backing of Reverend Odonkor, appropriated a total of ¢27.5 million in cash support, which was funneled into jute bags.

Mr. Essien is also alleged to have withdrawn money given to the bank as liquidity support by having ¢100 million paid into a capital bank account held by the managing directors of the following three companies; Maripoma Enterprise Limited, Hardwick Limited and Volta Impex Enterprise Limited opened on purpose to receive the amount.

The ¢100 million was to be used by the chief executive of the three companies apparently as payment for 30% of Capital Bank stock.

According to the state, as part of the cover-up of this act, Mr. Essien asked the companies’ chief executive to submit copies of the three companies’ government payment certificates worth ¢135 million to be discounted to ¢105 million by Capital Bank to be used as collateral for the alleged ¢100 million loan.

Reverend Odonkor told the court that the Capital Bank’s board approved these certificates.

“I say in regards to updating the certificates of Maripoma, Volta Impex and Hardwick; the capitalization operation was approved by the Board. The management went ahead to verify the certificates from the Ministry of Finance and Urban Roads,” he explained.

He added that he had never signed a check or instrument of transfer “regarding the facts” for which he was charged in court.

“I say that I am not guilty of any of the charges against me,” he concluded.

The matter was adjourned to April 28, 2022, for further action.