JUST IN: US$139 million Airport land going to Akufo-Addo’s family friend for US$85 million – Report

Prime state lands near the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) in the name of the Ghana Airport Company Limited (GACL), is being given out to a Nigerian-owned company; Heaven Builders Limited, which uses some Ghanaians as fronts.

The Ghana Institute of Surveyors is reported to have priced a 1.7 acre of the airport lands for over US$6.3million, as far back as 2019, but Heaven Builders owned by Benedict Peters, a friend of the Akufo-Addo family, has pegged the current value of an acre of the land at a paltry US$1.3million on average.

Benedict Peters is a friend of Edward Akufo-Addo alias “Bumpty”, a younger brother of the President.

This situation has sparked confusion between the GACL management and the board of directors chaired by Paul Adom-Otchere. Insiders have told The Herald that the President is fully aware of the transaction.

While, the management led by the Managing Director (MD), Pamela Djamson-Tettey, has the fullest support of the workers’ union to protect the interest of the state, the board of directors are also split with many members except a few, including Mr Adom-Otchere, on the side of the management.

Ghana Airport is giving out 38.41 acres of the land to anchor holders at US$85 million for a 45-year period, but the influential Benedict Peters has insisted on having 62.14 acres for a 99-year period in its counter-proposal which analysts have described as inimical to the interest of the country.

This means that a land – 62.14 acres – which is supposed to be sold at US$139 million, the valuation of GACL is going to be US$85 million, which is the cost of the 38.41 acres of the airport lands.

But going by the Ghana Institute of Surveyors, which priced 1.7 acre of the land at over US$ 6.3 million as of 2019, Benedict Peters, should be coughing more than US$139 million.

The land was part of a 272-acre land the Tony Lithur-led board under the John Mahama administration, got vested in the name of the state, and leased to GACL for 99 years.

In spite of multiple valuation reports against Benedict Peters’ counter offer on the transaction, Mr Adom-Otchere and the Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah, are leaving no stone unturned to give out the land to Heaven Builders Limited, who are to be anchor holders and will be leasing the prime lands to private developers.

The Herald’s sources at the Presidency, have revealed Heaven Builders Limited, as owned by Benedict Peters, the owner of Frontier Healthcare Services Limited which deployed a COVID-19 testing facility at KIA in the heat of the pandemic, and turned out to be the most expensive testing mechanism in the world.

Benedict Peters, a Nigerian national, very connected to the Akufo-Addo family, has sought to use his connections to bulldoze his way for access to KIA’s juicy land for a pittance.

Meanwhile, the North Tongu Member of Parliament (MP), Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who is also following up on the transaction, has stated that the company at the centre of a scandal involving some prime airport lands has no physical office.

According to the MP, his private investigation showed that the company has no presence whatsoever at the two locations provided in its incorporation documents as its office.

He claimed to have seen minutes and other documents in which the Finance Minister, had been mentioned as approving the transaction between GACL and Benedict Peters’ company; Heaven Builders Limited.

“So earlier today, I embarked on a journey to physically check out the two office addresses which have been provided by directors of Heaven Builders Limited in official documents.

“The first office address, which is provided in incorporation documents at the Office of the Registrar of Companies is House Number F17, Site 4, Community 1, Near Mary Mother of God Church, Tema.

“When I arrived at this particular address at 11:30 am, I was shocked to see a very ugly dilapidated residential structure which appeared abandoned for many years. The decrepit structure was in a state of ruin and total disrepair,” the MP stated in his third publication on the Heaven Scandal published on Friday, September 7, 2023.

He noted that the supposed location of the company in Tema was an abandoned building which has not been occupied for over a decade except for a lone squatter living in the abandoned structure.

“A squatter in a shaky boys quarters told me the building had been abandoned for more than a decade. He has been squatting for some 7 years and throughout the period, the structure had never been used for an office as misrepresented in the incorporation documents of Heaven Builders.

“It is obvious that sleazy characters with fraudulent intentions deliberately misled public officials at the Office of the Registrar of Companies with this dubious non-existent “office address,” he said.

Similar to the situation at Tema, Mr Ablakwa noted that a second location given as the office of the company led him to the Central Business District of Accra where no trace of the company was found.

“The second Heaven Builders office address was contained on the letterhead used for their audacious recent counter offer demanding 62.14 acres and a lease extension from 45 years to 99 years.

“The letterhead indicates — Office Location: 380 Kwame Nkrumah Avenue. P. O. Box 3566, Accra-North. It is instructive that this address is different from what they presented at the Office of the Registrar of Companies.

“This second address is another scam,” he stated.

While the entire stretch of 380 Kwame Nkrumah Avenue has been filled with a number of prominent offices, none of them according to the MP counted as that of Heaven Builders Company Limited.

“A thorough search of all the buildings at 380 Kwame Nkrumah Avenue did not produce Heaven Builders.

“380 Kwame Nkrumah Avenue is at the heart of central Accra’s bustling commercial enclave. It is near Tudu and Kantamanto. Notable edifices on that street include Cocobod, SSNIT, and NIB. On the other side of that street is the ever-conspicuous Greater Accra Police Regional Headquarters.

“The brigands and mosstroopers behind Heaven Builders seem very bold but not the least sophisticated,” the opposition MP emphasised.

He had earlier revealed that the President, Nana Akufo-Addo, and his cousin the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta had granted approval for the transaction led by GACL, on the blindside of parliament and thus described the deal as shady.

His findings included the fact that the proposed agreement by the GACL means Heaven Builders will become owners “of 38.14 acres of prime airport land in the immediate environs of the Kotoka International Airport under the Airport City Phase 2 Project if they agree to carry out some dubious infrastructure such as roads and drains at a so-called cost of US$85,021,340.00.”

He adds that the company has since written back to GACL with a counter-proposal asking for the land size to be expanded to 62.14 acres under the same terms.

In a subsequent publication on October 4, 2023, the MP made further damning findings and allegations against the company.

Some of his findings were that the Heaven Builders Limited according to its incorporation documents and insider sources is being fronted by individuals integral to the “infamous” Frontiers Airport COVID-19 testing company.

Also, the company according to the MP was incorporated with a stated capital of GH¢5,000 (five thousand Ghana Cedis) and an envisaged employee strength of one.

Mr Ablakwa revealed that the proposed agreement by the GACL means Heaven Builders will become owners “of 38.14 acres of prime airport land in the immediate environs of the Kotoka International Airport under the Airport City Phase 2 Project if they agree to carry out some dubious infrastructure such as roads and drains at a so-called cost of US$85,021,340.00.”

He adds that the company has since written back to GACL with a counter-proposal asking for the land size to be expanded to 62.14 acres under the same terms.

Mr Ablakwa in part two of Heaven Scandal alleged that two survey firms, Brightwater Property Investment Limited and the Ghana Institution of Surveyors have both disagreed with the terms of the counteroffer following an independent assessment.

According to the MP, both independent assessments described the valuation of the land as terribly low.

In the case of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors, a 1.7 acre of the land in question was reported to have been sold for an excess of US$6.3million as far back as 2019 whereas Heaven Builders pegged the current value of an acre of the land at US$1.3million on average.

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