The Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug administration and Control, Dr. Paul Orhii, was on Monday grilled by operatives of the anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly awarding contracts running into several billions of Naira to himself.
Orhii, who was quizzed at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja from 9am to 5pm, was alleged to have awarded contracts to some companies, which acted as fronts for him.
He was allowed to go after Monday’s interrogation with a directive to report at the commission’s office on Tuesday.
The NAFDAC boss has been in the eye of the storm lately, following the strings allegations of financial impropriety levelled against him by a former finance director of NAFDAC, Ademola Mogbojuri.
Mogbojuri had accused Orhi as been the brain behind the massive shady deal and financial recklessness at the agency, alleging that Orhi refused to remit funds meant for the federation account, and instead funneled the agency’s internally generated revenues to fund political campaign in his home Benue State.
Mogbojuri had told a national newspaper, Punch last month that some of the companies used to carry out the deals have collected over N6bn in the last two years.
“Towards the general election this year, he collected a lot of money and used it to buy vehicles, which he branded and gave to a governorship aspirant in his native Benue State. The financial recklessness of the DG has brought NAFDAC onto its knees,” he had alleged.
A senior staff of the agency who spoke with New Mail Online at the weekend on the condition of anonymity also corroborated Mogbojuri’s claim.
The source in the agency’s Lagos office said that many employees are alarmed at the the rate of financial recklessness that has pervaded the agency since Orhi became the DG.
He said that the agency earns well over N9 billion annually as Internally Generated Revenue, claiming that while bulk of the money remain undeclared, certain obligations due to staff were also denied under the pretext that there was no money to fund such activity.
“Honestly, I think it is high time a serious inquiry is made into NAFDAC’s accounts. We know how much we make yearly, but we have no idea of how the money is spent. Am sure that after a thorough investigations, the DG and some of his cronies will have more than questions to answer,” said the source.
However, in an interview with Vanguard, Orhi denied the allegations and described them as false and mischievous.
“We have not indulged in reckless spending as claimed. Take a look at the person making the allegations, the former director of finance and administration.
“He is the person who has been making the payments for the past three to four years. Then suddenly when he was reassigned, he woke up to discover that there were irregularities,” Orhi was quoted to have said.