The founder and former Chief Executive Officer of the defunct Capital Bank William Ato Essien has told the High Court in Accra that, he is a “destiny and nation builder.”

Ato Essien who was unable to conclude negotiations with the state to pay compensation under section 35 of the Courts’ Act and was ordered to open his defence, said, he a true entrepreneur who created something out of nothing.

While being led by his counsel Baffour Gyau Bonsu Ashia, to give his testimony to the court presided over by Justice Eric Kyei-Baffour, the accused said, he is a risk-taker.

Asked to tell the court what he does for a living he said, “I am a true entrepreneur that creates out of nothing, a businessman with a capacity to assume risk in other jurisdiction.

He went on to add that, “What I do is called a risk taker and in other common references, they refer to what I do as the engine of growth for economies. And so my lord, I could have easily said I am an entrepreneur but what I do is bigger than that.”

“My lord I could’ve said I’m a businessman but what I do is more than that. My lord, I could’ve said I’m one of the anchors as an active player, as an engine for the Ghanaian economy, but my lord, I rather submit to refer to myself as a destiny carrier for this nation.

According to him, “I’m a determined Ghanaian who believes that the true test of nation-building cannot happen without the businessman, deep risk-taker, deep entrepreneur but a destiny carrier and a nation builder carries and all these.

“My Lord my answer is taking time and with the greatest of respect, I will like you to permit me to finally say I am a destiny and a nation builder. That is what I live for, that is what I pant for and that is what I stand for.”

EIB Network’s Court Correspondent Murtala Inusah reports that the case has been adjourned to November 11 for continuation.

The former CEO of the Capital Bank William Ato Essien together with Tetteh Nettey and Fitzgerald Odonkor have been asked to open their defence to respond to some 23 charges including stealing.

About Section 35 of the Courts Act -Offer of Compensation or Restitution

(1) Where a person is charged with an offence before the High Court or a Regional Tribunal, the commission of which has caused economic loss, harm or damage to the State or any State agency, the accused may inform the prosecutor whether the
accused admits the offence and is willing to offer compensation or make restitution and reparation for the loss, harm or damage caused.

(2) Where an accused makes an offer of compensation or restitution and
reparation, the prosecutor shall consider if the offer is acceptable to the prosecution.

(3) If the offer is not acceptable to the prosecution the case before the Court shall proceed.

(4) If the offer is acceptable to the prosecution, the prosecutor shall in the presence of the accused, inform the Court which shall consider if the offer of compensation or restitution and reparation is satisfactory.

(5) Where the Court considers the offer to be satisfactory, the Court shall accept a plea of guilty from the accused and convict the accused on his own plea, and in lieu of passing sentence on the accused, make an order for the acCused to pay compensation or make restitution and reparation.

(6) An order of the Court under subsection (5) shall be subject to such conditions as the Court may direct.

(7) Where a person convicted under this section defaults in the payment of any money required of the person under this section or fails to fulfil any condition imposed by the Court under subsection (6), any amount outstanding shall become due and payable and upon failure to make the payment, the Court shall proceed to
pass a custodial sentence on the accused. [As substituted by the Courts(Amendment) Act, 2002 (Act 620).

Source: Inusah