Senate probes alleged fake COVID-19 test results used to defraud Nigerian travellers in Ghana

The Senate on Tuesday resolved to investigate allegations of fake COVID-19 test results to defraud unsuspecting Nigerians in Ghana and the use of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards in Nigeria.

The decision to investigate the allegation against the Ghanaian authorities was an outcome of a motion, following numerous allegations and complaints made by Nigerian travellers isolated at Ghanaian isolation facilities.

The motion titled, ‘Urgent need to conduct investigation on allegation of fake COVID-19 test results being used to defraud Nigerians in Ghana and the obtainment of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards,’ was sponsored by Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (APC, Kwara Central).

Oloriegbe recalled that the COVID-19 infection was declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in February 2020.

He noted that, “while the global roll-out of COVID-19 vaccinations continues to accelerate, only around one percent of the world’s population have received their full course of injections.”

Senator Oloriegbe continued: “Billions are still waiting for their first dose, which inevitably leads those people to question exactly when they will get it, especially as plans are being made internationally to allow those that have been vaccinated, or can prove they have had a recent negative test, the freedom to travel to other countries, attend large-scale events, take a new job, and more.

“Note also that there’s a strong and growing demand for vaccinations and test results because of the greater freedom they will give to people. Also, there will always be people who don’t want to wait for their official vaccination, or for an official negative test result – and shady people willing to service that demand;

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“Further, note that there is a serious allegation that the Ghanaian authorities are diagnosing Nigerians who travel to their country of testing positive for Covid even after testing negative in Nigeria.

“Observe that the Ghanaian authorities usually commit Nigerians who visit their country to isolation for two weeks and are made to pay about N75,000 per day.

“Observe also that this allegation was exposed by a Nigerian artiste, who was told in Ghana that he had COVID-19 even after testing negative at a Nigerian facility. He rejected the result and insisted that it was a fake result. He was deported and kicked out of Ghana by the authorities and proceeded to New York in the the United States, where his test result on arrival came out negative.

“There is worry that Nigerians travelling to Ghana or through Ghana lamented that they are made to pay almost N1 million while in isolation.

“There are concerns that if this allegation is not properly investigated and addressed, the exploitation will continue, thereby unlawfully taking away the resources of Nigerians in this global economic recession.”

The lawmaker also prevailed on the upper chamber to investigate another allegation on the United Kingdom’s refusal to acknowledge the vaccination cards and tests results issued to travellers by facilities in Nigeria.

Accordingly, the upper chamber in its resolution directed its committees on Health (Secondary and Tertiary), Primary Health and Communicable Diseases, and Foreign Affairs to conduct detailed investigations into the two allegations of fake COVID-19 test results being used to defraud Nigerians in Ghana and the obtainment or use of fake COVID-19 vaccination cards.

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