It has been established that, the private company; Frontiers Healthcare Service behind the US$150 per a person COVID-19 test on travellers arriving in Ghana through the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in Accra, is part the network of family and friends of President Akufo-Addo.
Frontiers Healthcare Service, has been linked to a Nigerian; Benedict Peters, mentioned as a friend of Ghana's President , whose direct cousin, Professor William Kwabena Ampofo, Head of the Virology of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, has stirred trouble at the medical facility for misusing human resources.
The network is reaping Ghanaians and others of hundreds of thousands of United States Dollars for running the test at the KIA, without going through any competitive bidding process and certification.
It got the Kotoka job just three months after its incorporation on June 3, 2020 with registration number: CS079792020 by name "Frontiers Healthcare Services". It has no track record in that field of work.
Reports are that, the network will be making a whopping US$30 million from now till Christmas with 2000 travellers leaving or arriving through Kotoka and paying US$150 per a test.
While, Benedict Peters is mentioned as fugitive who since 2017, has been running from the dreaded Nigerian's Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) after declaring him wanted in respect of crimes they claim he committed together with the ex-Minister of Petroleum, Diezani Alison-Maudeke, Prof. Ampofo, is accused of deploying the human resources of Noguchi to work for Frontiers Healthcare Service, without any remuneration to them and without any financial benefit to the research facility.
Professor Ampofo, identified as the Tutuuohene of Akyem Abuakwa and first cousin of President Akufo-Addo. The two share the same maternal grandparents; the Ofori-Attas from Kibi otherwise known as Kyebi. He has been made the Coordinator of the National Laboratory Network for COVID19 Testing (NMIMR) by the government.
Asides the issues of nepotism and favouritism, the Frontiers Healthcare Service's operation at the Airport, has since been embroiled in matters ranging from operating without the requisite regulatory licences, extortion, lack of staff, tax avoidance among others.
Some of these issues, have irked the policy research and advocacy group, IMANI Ghana, and they have in a statement issued on Monday, called for immediate steps to address the issue.
But ahead of the IMANI statement, The Herald, had landed a report from the KIA, painting a bad picture about the US$150 per a person COVID-19 testing.
Scientifically, The Herald's sources disclosed how some people who have gone through the test have described it as ineffective. This was after they were declared positive of the virus at the Airport and sent to the Ga East Hospital for treatment, but within hours got declared negative by MDS-Lancet Laboratories, a privately-owned state of the art laboratory in Accra. This is after they have been declared negative at the country of origin ahead of their trip to Ghana.
What this means is that, passengers are spending additional money to correctly ascertain their COVID-19 status, after paying US$150, the equivalent of GH¢1, 600 to Frontier Healthcare, aside what had been paid to the countries they had travelled from to Ghana.
Financially, the US$150 slapped on passengers for the test, has been described as excessive by industry players, including an official of the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research, Dr. Kofi Bonney, who had noted that the $150 fee being borne by passengers, should have been "between $10 to about $20."
But Aviation Minister, Joseph Kofi Addah, described the charge as bearable, and insisted that the $150 charge, would not be reviewed.
However, administratively, IMANI has discovered that Frontiers to operating illegally, as it has not been licensed by the Health Institutions & Facilities per Act of 2011 (Act 829). Additionally, the Frontiers Healthcare, was discovered as offshore company given preferential treatment by state institutions mandated to ensure its regulation and not paying tax in Ghana.
IMANI Ghana's statement dated Monday, September 21, 2020, said it has discovered that Frontier is "owned by a labyrinthine maze of companies in Ghana and beneficially controlled from the notorious tax haven of the Island of Dominica".
It said "our checks reveal that at the time that Professor Ampofo oversaw the supposed validation processes for Frontiers Healthcare to begin making money, these approvals had not been secured. As we understand the situation, moonlighting personnel from Noguchi have continued to sustain the Frontiers Healthcare operation".
According to IMANI, "Frontiers Healthcare furthermore did not have the personnel and other prerequisites that would have allowed HEFRA approvals anyway. The fact that it was operating an FDA-certified medical device would not, per our checks, be sufficient in this regard, since the overall protocols, personnel and health & safety regime goes beyond medical device certification".
"More alarmingly, our sources are adamant that a "globally novel" biomedical intervention, as the Frontiers Healthcare product has been billed, cannot be used on humans without the approval of the Ethical Review authorities at the institution", the research and advocacy group cried in the statement it titled "IMANI Alert: Noguchi, Professor Ampofo& Frontier Healthcare: Moonlighting, Tax Avoidance or PPP?
IMANI strongly advocates that "Noguchi immediately begins to take steps to regularise the relationship between its Department of Virology and Frontiers Healthcare Services, so that the institution itself benefits directly for the use of its personnel and expertise in this biomedical collaboration, however styled".
The policy research organisation also wants a "proper ethical approvals and regulatory licensing be pursued immediately to ensure that the activities of Frontier Healthcare Services are brought in line with the proper regime of excellence that Noguchi's local and international partners expect of it".
It added that "HEFRA, the Ministry of Health and Noguchi individually and jointly tell Ghanaians, beginning with their own staff, what informed the exemptions to standard policy under which a 3-month company is being allowed to operate licensed and regulated services, whilst regulators continue to harass longstanding, law-abiding, companies in the health sector for far minor infractions".
IMANI revealed how it had received "worrying complaints from Noguchi scientists and others urging us to "publicise their grievances" over this matter as they cannot do so themselves for fear of retribution".
The Herald late yesterday, picked up information that staff of Noguchi working with Frontiers, were given bank forms from Atlantic Bank to open account with the bank, although there are contract between them and Frontiers detailing what the rules of their engagements.
As of the time of going to press, The Herald picked up information that Frontiers has through KPMG acting as its Human Resources unit has demanded that the Noguchi staff furnish it with their CVs. It is unclear, if the company want to total absorb all staff of Noguchi.
Published below is a detailed report on Frontiers Healthcare Services, showing letters and pictures of President Akufo-Addo in hearty pose with people connected to the company.
FROINTIERS HEALTHCARE SERVICES LIMITED
The ban on international air travel to Ghana was lifted by President Akufo-Addo following his 16th nationally televised address on Sunday, August 30, 2020. On September 1, 2020, Kotoka International Airport (KIA) opened for business, in compliance with the President's directive.
"I am glad to announce that KIA will reopen and resume operations from Tuesday,
September 1, 2020. This decision has been communicated to international airlines across the world. After weeks of thorough work, I am satisfied that it is safe to do so," the President affirmed during the address.
During his national address, the President made the following statements:
1. Any passenger arriving in Ghana must be in possession of a negative Covid-19 PCR test result from an accredited laboratory in the country of origin. The test should have been done not more than 72 hours before scheduled departure from the country of origin. All airlines have been instructed to ensure compliance with this directive for all passengers
wishing to travel to Ghana, and those airlines who fail in this regard will be duly sanctioned;
2. Disembarking passengers must wear face masks;
3. Upon disembarkaing, each passenger will undergo a mandatory Covid-19 test at the airport terminal, at a fee to be borne by the passenger. The test result will be available within 30 minutes;
4. Children under the age of five will not be required to undergo testing at the airport
5. Passengers, who test positive for Covid-19, will be handled by the health authorities for further clinical assessment and management;
6. Passengers, who test negative, can, thereupon, enter Ghana to go about their lawful activities, and will be advised to continue to observe Covid-19 safety precautions during their stay in Ghana.
On September 1, 2020, arriving passengers were informed that the cost of the rapid COVID 19 test was $150. This price tag makes Ghana's COVID 19 test the third highest in the world, coming after the United Kingdom, which charges $200 per passenger, and Benin, where a test costs $160.
SOURCE A, is a Confidential Informant who works with the Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL). This source notes that the cost of the test has been a constant battle at the airport. "Many passengers complain that the cost is too high, and some of them have the money but refuse to pay. Others don't have the money at all, so they have to call relatives who are sometimes outside Accra to bail them out. There is this woman who slept at the airport with her children because she could not afford the cost of testing. There was also this group of girls who returned from Lebanon and had no money to pay for the test, and were taken straight into quarantine."
Investigations set out to establish the circumstances surrounding the costing of Ghana's COVID 19 test at the KIA. Specifically, these checks sought to establish:
a) The cost build-up of the COVID19 test;
b) The agency or company responsible for the management of the test at the airport and how they were selected;
c) The cost of the service to the government;
d) Any other issue;
From the outset of the investigation, it became clear that very senior public servants who were involved in the management of the COVID 19 Pandemic at KIA did not know who was specifically in charge of the testing. While some said it was PORT HEALTH, others suggested it was Noguchi, with a third theory that suspected it was some "Nigerians"
SOURCE A, intimated that the team that is doing the test "is being supervised by some Nigerians, but the technicians handling the lab work are from NOGUCHI" The source mentioned one Dr. Agyeman as one of the officers who oversees the testing. Others sources indicated that the nurses were drawn from Ridge Hospital.
In reality, aside the Nigerian supervisors, the testing is being run by Ghanaians. Subsequently, the investigations established that the contract for COVID 19 testing was awarded to a Ghanaian company called FRONTIERS HEALTHCARE SERVICES LTD. The official bank handling all payments for the COVID testing at KIA is First Atlantic Bank, a local bank with Nigerian majority shareholding. First Atlantic Bank took over Energy Bank. The majority Shareholder of First Atlantic Bank is a Nigerian company, Kaderi Nominees Ltd.
Investigators obtained a letter from Frontiers Healthcare Services Ltd dated August 27, 2020, "REQUESTING FOR COVID-19 TESTING SUPPORT AT KOTOKA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT" The letter was addressed to one Prof. William Kwabena Ampofo, "Coordinator of the National Laboratory for COVID 19 Testing at Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR)" It has been established that Prof. Ampofo and President Akufo-Addo are cousins. The letter stated as follows: "Our organization is carrying out COVID-19 testing on arriving passengers at Kotoka International Airport, Accra. We must ensure that we meet all applicable standards and guidelines for a top-quality, seamless operation.
"Per your role as National Coordinator for COVID-19 testing, we write to request your support for the following:
-Ensure standard operating protocols for COVID-19 testing are in place for nasopharyngeal sampling and processing for COVID-19 antigen detection -Constantly review the protocols of timely transmission of COVID-19 antigen results to the Ghana Health Service Port Health Unit. We look forward to hearing from you soon." Signed (Dr Emmanuel Accquaye- Director.
FRONTIERS HEALTHCARE SERVICES LTD
Documents retrieved from the Registrar General's Department indicate that FRONTIERS HEALTHCARE SERVICES LTD was registered on July 21, 2020 and received its certificate to commence business the same day.
The company's registration number is CS1144092020.Its digital address is GL- 116-6337. Its registered business address is 6th Floor Nester Square, Airport City. Its registered nature of business are:
"Provision of Qualitative and Cost-effective Primary, Secondary and Tertiary service"
2) Healthcare Services "Administration and operations management"
3) "Healthcare Facilities Management and hard"(sic)
4) "Medical equipment sourcing and commissioning"
The company has two directors:
a) Jean-Laurent Louis (TIN=P0009487379)
b) Samuel Bansah (P0001525662). Bansah is also the company's secretary
According to official records at Registrar General's Department, FRONTIERS HEALTHCARE SERVICES LTD is owned 100% by another company in Ghana called HEALTHCARE SOLUTION SERVICES LIMITED.
HEALTHCARE SOLUTION SERVICES LTD
This company was incorporated in Ghana on June 3, 2020 with registration number CS079792020. The company received its certificates to commence business on the same day. Its registered business address is 6th Floor Nester
Square, Airport City. Even though Frontiers Healthcare Services Ltd and Healthcare Solution Services
Ltd share the same business address, their digital address locations are different. The latter's digital address is GC-116-5626 OBJECTS
The objects of HEALTHCARE SOLUTION SERVICES LTD is the same as those of FRONTIERS HEALTHCARE SERVICES LTD, as stated above.
The company has two directors
a) Jean-Laurent Louis (TIN=P0009487379)
b) Samuel Bansah (TIN=P0001525662). Bansah is also the company's
c) RATKO KNEZVIC (TIN=P0009329250)
According to Registrar General's Department, another company, THE PETERS FAMILY COMPANY LTD, owns HEALTHCARE SOLUTION SERVICES LTD 100%.
The secretary of HEALTHCARE SOLUTION SERVICES LTD is one CHUKS CHUKWUNWIKE (TIN=P0009329188)
THE PETERS FAMILY COMPANY LTD
It has turned out that PETERS FAMILY COMPANY LTD is registered in DOMINICA, a notorious offshore/tax haven. The PETERS FAMILY COMPANY LTD, investigators are confident, belongs to Nigerian billionaire businessman, Benedict Peters. A section of this report will subsequently delve into Mr. Peters' business dealings. It has established that the company is located on HANOVER STREET, HODGE's LANE, in DOMINICA's capital city, ROSEAU. The address given to the Registrar Generals Department was wrong.
DOMINICA, popularly called Nature's Island, is a tropical Island located in the Caribbean. It has a population of about 72,000. The Island is a notorious offshore and tax haven where one can own a company without having one's name on
According to experts, one could purchase an existing company and retain its Directors and shareholders for a fee and then establish a bank account which is controlled by the real owner, making it impossible to find the owner.
Other ways of hiding company ownership in Dominica is to buy another offshore company in Belize, which owns the one in Dominica, which can in turn be owned by another company in Panama, which could be owned by another company in Seychelles Island, which could be owned by another company in Mauritius etc.
Frontiers Healthcare Services Ltd has just put up a website. Investigations have revealed that Frontiers' website, which has copyright violations, is managed by First Atlantic Bank. The domain name was purchased on August 27, 2020, for a year by an offshore company based in PANAMA. It expires on August 27, 2021.
Investigations have established that the website accepts online payments from two destinations, Ghana and Zimbabwe. This suggests that Frontiers is in
Zimbabwe, or intends to go there. It has also established that Benedict Peters, who was referenced earlier in this
report, has been awarded a $60 million Platinum Mine in Zimbabwe, where Ghana's Vice President worked as a World Bank consultant.
The revelation that Peters is involved in mining has raised suspicion that he might be the one behind the $500 million ASAASE/AGYAPA deal.
It has been established that RATKO KNEZEVIC served as Special Advisor for Economic and Foreign affairs to the Prime Minister of Montenegro from 1994-1997. During this period, he also served as Chief of the Montenegrin
Mission to the United States of America.
While in the United States of America, he became a member of the vociferous ''Committee on the Present Danger of China (CPDC)". The CDPC is an Anti-China US organization which claims "to educate and inform American citizens and policymakers about the existential threats presented from the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) under what it calls the misrule of the Chinese Communist Party. Its purpose is to explain the threats that range from the PRC's accelerating military buildup; its active information and political warfare that targets the American people and our business, political and media elites; cyberwarfare; and, economic warfare".
Investigations have revealed that on May 5, 2017, Nigerian energy conglomerate, Aiteo Group, appointed Ratko Knezevic to its Global Executive Management team as Group Advisor on Business and Capital Development.
Knezevic was expected to lead Aiteo's fund raising activities from global capital markets, with the primary objective of reinforcing the Group's growth and diversification targets in Nigeria and across Africa. Ratko also served as Vice Chairman of Macquarie Capital EMEA.
AITEO GROUP/BENEDICT PETERS
The company is owned by Nigerian billionaire Benedict Peters. AITEO is described as the largest indigenous oil producing firm in Nigeria by output.
Peters' estimated net worth is said to be around US$3 billion, making him the 5th richest man in Nigeria. When the pandemic broke out in Nigeria, Peters donated $30 million to the country's COVID19 fund.
PETERS THE FUGITIVE
Despite his wealth, Peters is somewhat of a controversial figure, smeared with several allegations of corruption, criminal conspiracy, bribery, diversion of funds and money laundering. He is said to be one of the individuals who
conspired with former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Maudeke, to misappropriate public funds.
Peters is also a close ally of former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo. He is also said to be a close friend of Ghanaian President Nana Akufo Addo. While out of Nigeria in 2017, the country's Economic and Financial Crime
Commission (EFCC) declared him wanted in respect of crimes they claim he committed together with the infamous former Minister of Petroleum, Mrs. Alison-Maudeke, who is wanted in Nigeria but is currently held up in the UK
where she is facing corruption charges. After Peters was declared wanted, the EFCC placed their hand on the
following properties belonging to the businessman:
a) 58 Harley House, Marylebone Road, London worth 2,800,000 million pounds
b) Apartment 4, 5, Arlington Street, London worth 11,800,000 million pounds.
c) Flat 5, 83-86, Prince Albert Road, London worth 3,750,000 million pounds
d) Aiteo Energy Resources worth over $4.023 billion.
e) Account No 105277 in FBN Bank (UK) in the name of Mr. B and Mrs.
f) Funds in Account No 107127 in FBN Bank (UK) of Walworth Properties
g) The sum of 36,674.7 pounds held on behalf of defendant in the client
Account of Clyde and Co. LLP, London
h) The sum of 40,620 pounds held in a correspondent Bank Account at
Ghana International Bank, London
i) Shares in Walworth Properties Limited, Rosewood Investments and
However, in 2018, a high court in Nigeria ordered Peters to be removed from the wanted list since the EFCC did not obtain a warrant before placing him on the list.
The court also ordered the above properties to be returned to him. The EFCC had indicated that Peters was dodging them and hiding abroad, failing to appear before the anti-corruption body despite repeated summons.
After the EFCC removed his name from the list, he didn't return to Nigeria but went into self- imposed exile.
Last week, a confidential source told investigators that most of the crimes over which Peters is being pursued by the EFCC are linked to offences committed by Mrs. Alison-Maudeke.
"In July this year, we went to court to hear a case in which the former Minister has been summoned. The case has been adjourned until the 28 of this month (October,2020. Once we get hold of her, we shall finally grab Peters," the source said.
In 2017, Mr Peters was sued in Nigeria for making a donation of $115 million to political parties in the 2015 general elections that insiders say was meant to bribe electoral officials.
One Chief Akinmoju had sued the billionaire, alleging that he paid a bribe of $115 million to electoral officers to influence the outcome of the 2015 Presidential elections.
Chief Akinmoju told the court that all of the electoral officers had made confession statements while their bank accounts had been frozen.
Aside the $115 million, Peters was also accused of donating $60 million to the PDP campaign fund, an amount the suit said was over the legal limit and a violation of the Nigeria Elections Act.
Peters admitted to the donation but denied that he had bribed electoral officers. He indicated in his affidavit that he has always made donations to political parties and that the money was not meant to be a bribe.
A High Court judge dismissed the suit against Peters, saying "the plaintiff failed to show the court that the money was donated to influence the outcome of the 2015 Presidential elections."
PETERS IN EXILE IN GHANA
According to intelligence, Peters, who frequently flies into Accra in private jets and constantly uses the VVIP Lounge at KIA, where he is treated as though a king, has been in self-imposed exile in Ghana since 2018.
Relevant photos have been attached to this report.
MYFRONTIERS.COM President Akufo-Addo in a Handshake with Mrs. Peters' wife, whilst her husband
Ex-President Olusegun in the company Mr & Mrs Peters