Reverend Fitzgerald Odonkor, former managing director (MD) of Capital Bank, has denied personally approving the payment of trade promotion funds to William Ato Essien, the bank’s former managing director, after securing cash support of 620 million GH¢ from the Bank of Ghana.

Responding to questions under cross-examination by Chief Prosecutor Marina Appiah Opare, Reverend Odonkor said the practice of paying the trade promotion sum was a norm in banking practice.

However, he said, the practice was banned in 2019 in the banking sector.

Reverend Odonkor was answering questions in the GH¢620 million Capital Bank case, at the Accra High Court on Thursday.

He is on trial with William Ato Essien, former CEO of the defunct Capital Bank, and Tetteh Nettey of MC Management Service, a company owned by Essien.

Question: You knew from the beginning that the money (commercial promotion) was for the benefit of Essien

Answer: No, Monsignor, I categorically deny that.

Question: You will agree with me that trade promotion payments were not part of the conditions for granting liquidity support by the Bank of Ghana?

Answer: Trade promotion payment was a practice in the banking industry until it was banned in 2019.

Question: The chairman of the board of directors denied having given his approval for the payment of the commercial promotion to Essien (first defendant) by telephone

Answer: I am not aware of such a refusal. Furthermore, in the various meetings where references were made to trade promotion payments in the presence of the President, he did not deny this approval.

Question: You said that Capital Bank could not get liquidity support from the Bank of Ghana, so Essien (first accused) arranged for the bank?

Answer: Yes, my Lord.

Question: Capital Bank has written three different letters to the Bank of Ghana requesting liquidity support. Is it correct?

Answer: Yes, my Lord

Question: When you requested the cash support, did you expect Band of Ghana to grant your request?

Answer: Yes, my Lord.

Question: I suggest to you that the first defendant (Essien) did not organize the liquidity support?

Answer: No, Monsignor. It was Essien who organized the support and advised management to submit the request.

Question: In your main testimony, you said that there was a sub-committee which met regularly to deliberate on the activities of the bank.

Answer: Yes, my Lord

Question: This sub-committee was not part of the management of the bank?

Response: The sub-committee represented the interests of the board and management.

Question: The decision to pay the commercial promotion to Essien was approved by Capital Bank during its meetings

Answer: Yes, my Lord.

Question: I suggest to you that there were no board meetings approving the commercial promotion payment to Essien.

Answer: No, Monseigneur le Conseil approved all these payments. -GNA