EFCC quizzes NAFDAC DG over alleged fraud
The Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control ,NAFDAC,Mr Paul Orhii, on Monday interrogated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,EFCC over alleged award of contracts to fronts, other related fraud and abuse of office.
Orhii spent several hours with the anti-graft agency but was later granted bail.
The NAFDAC DG issued a statement in the evening of Monday debunking reports of his arrest, saying he had reported to the EFCC office on his own.According to the statement by Abubakar Jimoh, the agancy's director of special duties, Orhii is answering the EFCC questions based on a petition by Mr Demola Mogbojuri ,a former director of finance.
According to reports, Mogbojuri, who was moved from his Abuja office to Kaduna by Orhii, may also be invited by the EFCC to confront the DG with evidence of his misdeeds before final decision is taken on what next to do with him.
Vanguard reports that Orhii and Mogbojuri have been having a running battle over the finances of NAFDAG, leading to a media war.While Mogbojuri insists that Orhii has been using companies owned by him to do the agency's major jobs, Orhii claims that none of the firms doing contracts for the agency belongs to him or his siblings.Orhii said: “And for the avoidance of doubts, since I came to NAFDAC, the same contractors who have been working for the agency have been the ones working under me because they are good.
“So, the allegation that I brought phony companies to do business and I award contracts to them is false and all our contracts followed due process; the documentation is there and is verifiable.”
Orhii, who also denied mismanaging funds generated by NAFDAC, said though the agency had a huge debts on its hands, funds accruing to it have been judiciously used to provide critical facilities for the body.
Among other issues, Mogbojuri accused the Director-General of increasing NAFDAC's debt profile and squandering monies generated by it.
But Orhii denied it all. He said, “It's true that I met the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) at N2.5 billion. Three years ago we made N6 billion. Last year, we got up to N7 billion and we hope that by this year, we will take it up to N9 billion.
“So, for the Director of Finance, who should know, to say that we have been making N9 billion for the past four years, he is simply being mischievous or it's a case of incompetence or both.
“It is the money that we generate that we use to run the agency. In fact, the Federal Government basically pays our salaries. Like the budget for this year, for which we budgeted almost N9 billion for overheard expenditure, there is zero allocation for us.
“Last year, we were allocated N10 million but at the end of the year we were only given N7.2 million.
“Yes, we have generated more money from NAFDAC since I came on board for which I think I deserve credit.”
He also denied inflating the contract for the building of its head office in Lagos, saying that due process was followed in the building and furnishing of the edifice.
The NAFDAC boss is the latest in the string of renewed high profile interrogations carried out by EFCC since the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Some of those quizzed include ex governors Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State,Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state and Sule Lamido of Jigawa state; Ifeoma Nwobodo, former Chief of Staff to immediate past Governor of Enugu State, Sullivan Chime, Mrs Toyin Saraki,wife of incumbent Senate President as well as Zainab YarAdua, daughter of late President Umaru YarAdua.
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