The purported arrest of Dr. Paul Orhii, DG, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), an organisation established in 1993 to checkmate illicit and counterfeit products particularly adulterated and counterfeit drugs in Nigeria under the country’s health and safety law, has become a subject of intense discuss in the mass media.
The supposed arrest is getting all the attention one could think of basically because, Nigeria as a country is presently undergoing a kind of purging with focus on curbing every known act of financial corruption. And since President Buhari took over the affairs of governance, it has been about the fight against corruption all the way. The Spartan President has vowed not to spare anybody in the fight no matter how highly placed or related to him. The presidency and the anti-graft agencies, EFCC and ICPC have in the last two months been on top of their game, they have uncovered monies running into Billions starched away in different banks within and outside the country. At his recent visit to the US, President Buhari said he was told by the American government that monies stolen from the Nigerian government and kept abroad in the last 10 years amount to about $150Billion. A particular minister in the immediate past government of Goodluck Jonathan was said to have stolen about $9.3Billion. The NNPC is the worst hit in the fight. So far, those that have been invited or arrested by the anti-graft agencies are those who have one way or the other been linked to stolen funds. This has been the trend lately, one therefore need not wonder too far as to why the said arrest of DG NAFDAC went viral in the social media and dailies.
NAFDAC through its Director of Special Duties, Abubakar Jimoh has however, denied that Orhii was summoned and grilled over alleged act of fraud.
He said in a statement recently that the DG voluntarily visited the EFCC to clear the air on a petition against him by a former chief in the anti-narcotic agency.
The statement read, “We have been alerted to online trending news of the visit of the Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Dr.Paul Orhii, to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission today.
“The visit was at the personal volition of the DG to explain the situation regarding allegation of corruption by a former Director of Finance and Accounts of the Agency, Mr.Ademola Mogbojuri. Since last week, some officers, who were mentioned in the allegation, had gone to the EFCC to shed light and clear the air on the mindless accusations.
“There’s nothing unusual about this but rather to applaud the DG for his courage to want to engage the recalcitrant director, who has decided to dance naked in the public and become a willing tool in the hands of the counterfeiters to infiltrate our organised system.”