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NAFDAC boss denies N700m scam allegation

24 July 2013, 10:10

Lagos - The Director-General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Paul Orhii, has denied being involved in a N700 million scam as reported by an online publication.

Orhii also denied having illicit relationship with his former Special Assistant, Aishat Okpa-Iwenofu.

Orhii told newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos that he knew nothing about the N700 million said to have been found in her bank account.

He said that the allegation which was reported to have been petitioned to the Economic Financial Crime Commission, (EFCC) was an outright falsehood.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Global Village Extra, an online news site, published the report that last month.

The publication stated that according to a petition to EFCC, the NAFDAC D-G, Orhii was linked to N700 million in a Lagos account of his former special assistant, Okpa-Iwenofu.

The site alleged that the unnamed petitioner had concrete proof of deals between Okpa-Iwenofut and fake drug dealers, alleging further that she was a mistress to the D-G.

Orhii said that he was never invited by the EFCC on the 'so-called' petition submitted to the anti-graft agency.

He said that the publication of the allegation through an online news site, an unrecognised newspaper was a campaign by aggrieved counterfeiting agents to bring him and the agency down.

"There is no iota of doubt that my detractors, some of who are drug counterfeiters would go to any length this time around to paint me black.

"They are envious, badly hit and uncomfortable with our well-coordinated, multifaceted and successful anti-counterfeiting strategies,’’ he said.

Orhii said that the failed attempt to assassinate him in 2010 made his detractors hell bent on assassinating his character with falsehood.

"How could I sack someone who has got my N700 million without first of all, collecting my money? This is absolutely not logical,’’ he said.

 Orhii, however, reaffirmed his commitment to serve the nation and that he would continue to fight against drug counterfeiting to safe guard the health of Nigerians.

"I can never disappoint millions of Nigerians and friends abroad who have invested so much trust, confidence and hope in me.

"My commitment to fighting counterfeit drugs in the country and my commitment to serving the nation will remain unshaken,’’ he said.

Also speaking, Prof.  John Ibu, the Chairman, NAFDAC Governing Board, noted that all allegations aimed at the Agency D-G were part of the plot to derail him from the good works he was doing.

"If there is substance in the allegation, we would have investigated and dealt with it our own way.

"The D-G has enviable achievements, which is recognised both locally and internationally and we are in support his fight against fake drugs to safeguard the health of Nigerians,’’ he said.

Ibu also urged the media to uphold their sacred duty of informing, enlightening and educating the public correctly.

'The media is the watchdog of this nation, therefore, be careful with what you publish by getting your facts and figures so that you do not misinform the public,’’ he said.

  - NAN

Tags nafdac efcc

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