The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board said in February 2018 that it had suspended its employee, Philomina Chieshe, on account of 36 million naira which was reported to have been swallowed by a snake in the board’s office in Makurdi, Benue State.
The JAMB Head of Information, Fabian Benjamin, told our correspondent on Sunday that the board was taking her through other disciplinary measures while security agencies were investigating the matter.
Benjamin said, “She has been suspended and she is going through all other disciplinary procedures while investigation is ongoing on the matter. Her claim was that a snake came into the office and swallowed the N36m proceeds.”
It was learnt that Chieshe explained in her statement that a “mystery snake” sneaked into JAMB accounts office and made away with the N36m cash.
The money was said to be from the purchases of scratch cards from JAMB state offices and other designated centres.
A team of auditors was said to have been dispatched to different state offices of JAMB to take inventory of sold and unsold scratch cards and recover the generated money.
The woman reportedly told the team that she could not account for N36m made in the previous years before the abolition of scratch cards.
However, in the course of interrogation, Chieshe reportedly changed the narrative, saying that it was her housemaid who connived with another woman, Joan Asen, to “spiritually steal the money” from the vault in the accounts office.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had begun investigation into the matter following a recommendation by the Federal Executive Council late last year that JAMB should be investigated.
JAMB’s Reaction To Snake Swallowing N36 Million
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, JAMB has reacted to a report that went viral that a snake swallowed N36 million in Jamb office.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Franklin Benjamin, the Board said it was a pure case of criminality and fraud by one of its Staff.
It was earlier reported by an online news platform that a mystery snake was said to have sneaked into the accounts office of the board in Markurdi, Benue state and swallowed N36 million cash belonging JAMB.
This development occurred when a team of auditors dispatched by JAMB to take inventory of sold and unsold scratch cards and recover any funds generated or embezzled during sales periods.
JAMB candidates usually purchase scratch cards to gain access to the Board’s website for either registration or for checking their admission status but that has been stopped by the registrar, Ishaq Oloyede. The report read;
“A sales clerk, Philomina Chieshe, told JAMB registrar and his team that she could not account for N36 million she made in previous years before the abolition of scratch cards. In the course of interrogation, Philomena denied the allegations that she stole the money but confessed that her housemaid connived with another JAMB staff, Joan Asen, to “spiritually” (through a snake) steal the money from the vault in the account office”.
Speaking on the fraud, Benjamin said;
“It is natural for the office to account for what they have after the sale of scratch cards has been stopped and we discovered that lots of money was missing in Markurdi and other offices.
There are procedures in the civil service so the whole thing is still under investigation. She was queried, she appeared before disciplinary committee, although she confessed that money was missing and a snake swallowed it. Unfortunately, she is calling one Joan’s name which did not appear in the investigation at all. Joan only recommended a house help for her.
Of course, the management did not believe the story. She is just trying to put an excuse forward. These are things the registrar is trying to unravel to put the board on the right footing.
We had a case where one of the staff said he had an accident on his way and the scratch cards got burnt but only for us to discover that they were used because they all had serial numbers.”
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