Corrupt Practices: Group petitions EFCC over ex-NAFDAC DG, Orhi

Paul-Orhii
An anti-corruption coalition, Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to urgently investigate and prosecute the immediate past Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhi, over allegations of corruption and illegal registration of fake drugs.
In a petition addressed to the office of the acting chairman of the anti-graft agency, the coalition through its chairman, Mr. Olanrewaju Suraju, said it is expecting that the petition would neccesitate prompt investigation into the allegations and also effect immediate reversal of fraudulent certification by the Agency.
The petition read, “We are in receipt of an insider petition, detailing several allegations against the immediate past Director–General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii. He was accused of recertifying blacklisted Asian Companies, reversing ban of some drugs and allowing dangerous drugs into the country for pecuniary gains and subject to financial inducements.”
According to the petition, during the tenure of Late Professor Dora Akunyili as Director General of the Agency, an assessment was conducted on all the pharmaceutical companies importing drugs into the country and based on outcomes of the assessment, some Asian countries were blacklisted for their records and penchant for producing substandard or outright fake drugs/products.
“On assumption of duty as D.G, Dr. Paul Orhii recertified some of them and reallocated previously withdrawn NAFDAC registration numbers. The implication of this is that even if a drug/product carries a NAFDAC number, it is not a guarantee that it is genuine. Registration and recertification of drugs are now done indiscriminately.
“Some of the allegedly blacklisted companies that were brought back by Dr. Orhii are:
KAMALA Overseas Bombay 400002 India
MISSION Pharmaceuticals Limited India
PLIVA Pakistan (PVT) Limited
MILAN Laboratories India”
Furthermore, the petition also stated that the former Director General reversed the ban on Monotherapy  Artesunate, an anti-malaria treatment which has been banned worldwide by World Health Organization (WHO).
“Some of the companies he permitted to bring the drugs to Nigeria are –
CUS Pharmacy which brings CUSNATE
NEROS  Pharmacy- Artesunate
GENEITH Pharmacy
EMBASSY Pharma Ltd”
Dr. Orhii has also been alleged to have allowed the entry of dangerous drugs like TRAMADOL into the country. “The said drug is highly regulated and no county in the world allows the use of more than 50mg, as it is like a narcotic in the class of cocaine. In October 2014, about 4 x 40ft and 1 x 40ft containers of unregistered drugs were intercepted at Apapa ports, including Tramadol 200mg and 150mg (far above the approved 50mg).
“The said containers were seized by NAFDAC officials and on January 14, 2015, Dr. Orhii called a press conference to announce the seizure but on July 20th, 2015, he ordered the release of the dangerous drugs into the society, after allegedly receiving some millions of dollars as bribe. The said containers were released to one Dr. David West.”
Amongst other alleged corrupt practices, he has also been accused of posting loyal members of staff to some posts to receive bribes on his behalf. “Currently, the Nigerian Law does not allow importation of drugs through the land borders except through the air and sea. However, some drugs are been brought in through the Seme and Idiroko borders by corrupt means. “It is alleged that one Hassan Tanko facilitates the passage of fake drugs at Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc and remits $5,000 as returns to Dr. Orhii weekly. His other accomplices are named as Ekine Titi, Goddy and a popular clearing agent “IBRO”. The fake drugs are said to usually come in through Qatar Airways or DHL cargo.
“We are by this petition demanding an urgent investigation into these allegations and immediate reversal of fraudulent certification by the Agency,” the coalition said‎
28th March, 2016
The Chairman,
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,
No. 5, Fomella Street,
Off Adetokunboh Ademola Crescent,
Wuse II, Abuja.
Dear Sir,
RE: ALLEGATION OF CORRUPTION AND ILLEGAL REGISTRATION OF FAKE DRUGS AGAINST FORMER NAFDAC D.G., DR. PAUL ORHI
Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) is a coalition of over hundred and fifty Anti-corruption organizations whose primary aim is to constructively combat corruption vigorously and to ensure the effective monitoring of the various Anti-graft agencies in the fight against corruption and contribute towards the enthronement of transparency, accountability, probity and total commitment in the fight to eradicate corruption in Nigeria.
We are in receipt of an insider petition, detailing several allegations against the immediate past Director–General of the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Dr. Paul Orhii. He was accused of recertifying blacklisted Asian Companies, reversing ban of some drugs and allowing dangerous drugs into the country for pecuniary gains and subject to financial inducements.
According to the petition, during the tenure of Late Professor Dora Akunyili as Director General of the Agency, an assessment was conducted on all the pharmaceutical companies importing drugs into the country and based on outcomes of the assessment, some Asian countries were blacklisted for their records and penchant for producing substandard or outright fake drugs/products. On assumption of duty as D.G, Dr. Paul Orhii recertified some of them and reallocated previously withdrawn NAFDAC registration numbers. The implication of this is that even if a drug/product carries a NAFDAC number, it is not a guarantee that it is genuine. Registration and recertification of drugs are now done indiscriminately. Some of the allegedly blacklisted companies that were brought back by Dr. Orhii are:
• KAMALA Overseas Bombay 400002 India
• MISSION Pharmaceuticals Limited India
• PLIVA Pakistan (PVT) Limited
• MILAN Laboratories India
Furthermore, the petition also stated that the former Director General reversed the ban on Monotherapy  Artesunate, an anti-malaria treatment which has been banned worldwide by World Health Organization (WHO). Some of the companies he permitted to bring the drugs to Nigeria are –
• CUS Pharmacy which brings CUSNATE
• NEROS  Pharmacy- Artesunate
• GENEITH Pharmacy
• EMBASSY Pharma Ltd
Dr. Orhii has also been alleged to have allowed the entry of dangerous drugs like TRAMADOL into the country. The said drug is highly regulated and and no county in the world allows the use of more than 50mg, as it is like a narcotic in the class of cocaine. In October 2014, about 4 x 40ft and 1 x 40ft containers of unregistered drugs were intercepted at Apapa ports, including Tramadol 200mg and 150mg (far above the approved 50mg). The said containers were seized by NAFDAC officials and on January 14, 2015, Dr. Orhii called a press conference to announce the seizure but on July 20th, 2015, he ordered the release of the dangerous drugs into the society, after allegedly receiving some millions of dollars as bribe. The said containers were released to one Dr. David West.
Amongst other alleged corrupt practices, he has also been accused of posting loyal members of staff loyal to some posts to receive bribes on his behalf. Currently, the Nigerian Law does not allow importation of drugs through the land borders except through the air and sea. However, some drugs are been brought in through the Seme and Idiroko borders by corrupt means. It is alleged that one Hassan Tanko facilitates the passage of fake drugs at Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc and remits $5,000 as returns to Dr. Orhii weekly. His other accomplices are named as Ekine Titi, Goddy and a popular clearing agent “IBRO”. The fake drugs are said to usually come in through Qatar Airways or DHL cargo.
We are by this petition demanding an urgent investigation into these allegations and immediate reversal of fraudulent certification by the Agency.
Sincerely yours,

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