N36m Theft JAMB vows no "snake" will be spared

The board's spokesperson said it is committed to cleaning up the fraudulent acts.

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The Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB) has promised that no one involved in the misappropriation of public funds will be spared in the board's bid to run a transparent organisation.

This was revealed by the board's spokesperson, Fabian Benjamin, while he was speaking during a phone-in interview on Channels Television on Tuesday, February 13, 2018.

Benjamin's revelation was a response to the story about the JAMB official who sensationally claimed that a missing N36 million from the board's office vault in Benue State, was "spiritually" stolen by a mysterious snake.

Benjamin said that the board, under the leadership of Registrar, Ishaq Oloyede, is committed to cleaning up the agency.

He said, "Let me make it very clear that that information was given out by JAMB in line with the spirit of this administration. We are not very disturbed with the trends and the way Nigerians have turned the whole story around.

"What we're doing is to ensure that we stem corruption, that any "snake" that is in the vault misappropriating public funds, swallowing, or whatever, will not be spared.

"What brought this up was the determination of the present administration, led by Professor Oloyede, to ensure that the board is clean of any acts of infraction, misappropriation, or by whatever name it is called."

Missing N36 million will be recovered

Benjamin also revealed that the official in question, Philomina Chieshe, has undergone the board's disciplinary process and will be handed over to the appropriate security agency in due time for the recovery of the missing money.

He said, "This particular staff was saddled with the responsibility of selling scratch cards and she sold scratch cards amounting to N36 million, misappropriated this amount, and when she was queried, all she could say was that she kept it in the vault in the office and a particular snake came and swallowed the money.

"Of course, we won't believe that kind of a story.

"She has undergone all disciplinary processes. A report has been written and forwarded to the appropriate authorities.

"The public service has a process of addressing such issues. At the moment, she's been queried, appeared before a disciplinary committee, interdicted and is under close watch.

"Once we get the final approval, she'll be handed over to security agency and the necessary process will be taken to recover the money."

How snake 'stole' N36 million from JAMB vault

When a team of auditors tried to audit the accounts of JAMB's Benue branch, a sales clerk, Philomina Chieshe, could not account for N36 million she had made for the agency from the sale of scratch cards.

When she was probed, Chieshe reportedly confessed that it was her housemaid that colluded with another JAMB staff, Joan Asen, to "spiritually" steal the money from the vault in the accounts office with the help of a snake.

She said, "It was a mystery to me too. I have been saving the money in the bank, but I found it difficult to account for it.

"So I started saving it in a vault in the office. But each time I open the vault, I will find nothing. I became worried and surprised how the millions of Naira could be disappearing from the vault.

"I began to interrogate everybody in the house and office, and no one could agree on what might have happened to the money. I continued to press until my housemaid confessed.

"She said that the money disappeared spiritually. She said that a mysterious snake sneaked into the house and swallowed the money in the vault."

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She is not the only fraud - JAMB

While speaking on Tuesday, Benjamin also revealed that the board has had to deal with other fraudulent behaviours displayed by other members of staff.

He said, "She's not the only one involved. There are others. We have a situation where a particular staff claimed that on his way he had an accident and his vehicle got burnt with all the scratch cards, but we later discovered that those scratch cards were also used by candidates."

Benjamin assured that the board is doing its best to rid the agency of such malpractices by taking necessary measures to make sure it doesn't happen again.

He said with the board's new drive to abolish the old scratch card system, it will be difficult for members of staff to have access to committing frauds such as these.

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