Former Chief Executive Officer of defunct Capital bank, Ato Essien has been sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour.

This follows his failure to pay in full an amount of GH¢90 million cedis he agreed to pay the state despite several lifelines given him.

The court in May 2023 gave him a two-month window to at least pay in full the first GH¢20 million out of the GH¢60 million he was due to pay.

However, the convict has not been able to meet this directive.

Ato Essien was convicted in December 2022 on his own plea after striking a deal with the state under section 35 of the Courts Act to avoid a custodial sentence.

He has, however, been having a hard time fulfilling a GH¢90 million debt obligation imposed on him by the court in replacement of the custodial sentence.

According to the agreement, Ato Essien was mandated to pay GH¢90 million by the end of 2023 for which he paid GH¢30 million in December 2022 and was expected to pay the remainder in three equal instalments in 2023.

The first tranche was due for payment by the end of April 2023 failure of which placed him at risk of being handed a jail sentence. But at the end of April, the convict had only paid GH¢6 million out of the GH¢20 million.

The state filed an application to get the court to issue the custodial sentence as the terms of the agreement required that a breach of the payment plan would amount to the imposition of a custodial sentence on him.

The Judge, Justice Eric Kyei Baffour, however, upon a request by the lawyers of the convict deferred the hearing of the application to impose a custodial sentence.

Ato Essien’s lawyers argued that agreements have been reached with a company for the liquidation of some properties belonging to their client to pay for the debt.

But it emerged that Ato Essien only made an additional payment of GH¢2 million. This brings the total amount of the first tranche paid to GH¢8 million with a remainder of GH¢12 million.

This means that out of the GH¢90 million debt, the convict has paid only GH¢38 million leaving a remainder of GH¢52 million.