Indications emerged last night that several petitions against the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, Dr. Paul Orhii, on the mismanagement of the agency’s funds were responsible for his summon by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
From competent sources the former NAFDAC Director of Finance and Accounts, Ademola Mogbojuri, who was surreptitiously moved from his Abuja office to Kaduna by Orhii, might 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.
Orhii was questioned for hours, yesterday, by a crack team of detectives for allegedly awarding huge contracts to companies in which he has interests.
An EFCC top source confirmed the DG, who arrived the commission’s headquarters around 10am had been making useful statement to its agents.
The source said: “It is true that the NAFDAC head was summoned and quizzed in relation to allegations that he has been awarding contracts running into millions of Naira to companies close to him.” Dr Orhii has, however, been released after interrogations.
It will be recalled 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 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.